In 2016, the Nigerian fashion scene witnessed the dominance of a crop of Abuja-based fashion designers. Although these designers are not by any means greenhorns in the fashion and style industry, their craftsmanship experienced some boost thanks to the numerous celebrities whom they clothed as well as their social media fan base.
These days, they even give their counterparts in Lagos and down south a run for their money.
PREMIUM TIMES beams the spotlight on the top six Abuja-based fashion designers who ruled the fashion scene and smiled to the bank in 2016.
Ogugua Okonkwo of Style Temple
The saying that great things sometimes come in small packages holds true for the CEO of Abuja-based fashion design outfit, Style Temple, Ogugua Okonkwo. Her store is a one-stop store for made-to-measure, custom-made clothing.
Quiet and unassuming, Og as she is fondly called, arguably owns one of the most prestigious fashion houses in Abuja. A 2008 Medical Laboratory Science graduate from the University of Nigeria, she also has a certificate in fashion merchandising. Her fortunes turned around after she clothed a former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arunma Oteh, on her 50th birthday.
From a modest showroom in Wuse 2, Style Temple currently operates from a sprawling studio in Maitama. In September, the label announced its presence in Lagos when it presented its new collection – “Ipseity” under the umbrella of its diffusion line “OG by Style Temple”. Some of her celebrity muses include, Toke Makinwa, Zainab Balogun and Stephanie Coker. Most of her clientele are the northern elite and her prices range between N15, 000 to N200, 000.
Oluwatoyin Iwukemjika of Kathy Anthony
The toast of Northern Nigerian opulent brides, Oluwatoyin Iwukemjika runs Kathy Anthony fashion house out of Abuja. A trained economist, she also runs House of Style Academy.
She discovered her love for fashion while she was a staff of Sterling Bank PLC. She then worked at a couple of fashion houses where she began to gain some form of recognition because of her uniqueness.
After meeting her husband, Emeka Iwukemjika, in the USA in 2010, he advised her to set up her fashion outfit. This self-trained designer’s signature includes ready-to-wear, bespoke tailoring, made-to-measure and couture for women.
Famed as one of the few Nigerian fashion designers who has turned around the fortune of the Ankara fabric into something very spectacular, it is little wonder why many fashionable woman want to have a piece of the “Kathy Anthony” designs in their wardrobe.
Huda Fadoul-Abacha of Hudaya Couture
In less than five years of plying her trade in the competitive Nigerian fashion scene, Huda Fadoul-Abacha has proven that there is much more to her than just a pretty face.
This stunningly beautiful renowned fashion designer and wife of Sadiq Abacha, one of the sons of the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, is the brain behind Hudayya Bridal Emporium, a leading Bridal Couture company in Abuja. She has a keen eye for designing exquisite wedding dresses and exclusive luxury pieces.
Her fashion edifice, Hudayya Complex, is a one-stop venue for wedding and bridal services in Nigeria. A close pal and clothier of Nollywood star actress, Genevieve Nnaji, she is also the brain behind Mavin Record artiste, Dija’s looks.
Not only did Hudadesign her own wedding dress, she is also renowned for designing the wedding dress of Marilyn, a daughter of the Delta state governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Ify Ogodor of Ogodor Designs
In Abuja fashion industry, Ifeoma Anyanwu or Ify as she better known, reigns supreme. The CEO of Strands Salon and O’godor republic, this English graduate from the University of Imo State, is the epitome of fashion and style. Her extremely daring personal style, as well as her rich clientele who reside in Abuja and Lagos, are some of the things that make her tick.
Her foray into fashion began during her youth service year. According to her, she was a regular caller at her aunt’s shop at Sheraton Hotel Abuja. During one of her numerous visits to her aunt’s store, a diplomat offered her a job to be part of a monitoring team in the election 1998 elections.
At the end of the exercise she was paid $2000.Ify has since quadrupled her earnings over the years and gone on to become one of Abuja’s top fashion designers.
Yutee Utibe Rone of Yutee Rone Atelier
Yutee Utibe Rone runs her eponymous label out of Abuja. A mother of three boys, she is married to a mysterious wealthy Nigerian,Julius Rone.
Within ten years of the existence of her brand, she has wowed fashion buffs with her beautiful pieces and never failed to win hearts at every fashion show. A microbiology graduate-turned-designer, Yutee travels locally and internationally on her husband’s private jet and of course, documents it on Instagram. Aside from boasting of a rich clientele, which includes Nigerian actresses Rita Dominic and Tonto Dikeh-Churchill, she enjoys a steady patronage by Lagos elites.
Ogwa Iweze and Ofure Adive of DZYN -couture
Two sisters, Ogwa Iweze and Ofure Adive, in Abuja, started this fashion house eleven years ago. Opting for a name they consider interesting they settled for the name DZYN and over the years they’ve succeeded in carving a niche for themselves.
Operating from a massive edifice in Wuse 2, their creative collections can be described as great print fabrics in bright hues that are exquisitely tailored to fit and accentuate the female body.
From day wear to evening wear, bridal wear and traditional wear, Dzyn Couture stands out from the pack. From casually starting out with five dresses, these sisters now make thousands of garments annually. One of the fashion design houses to watch out for in 2016, they enjoy a large following in Lagos, the FCT and on social media.”