Search for Nigerian superstar designers begins

Idia Aisen speaking
Idia Aisen speaking

The Design Fashion Africa (DFA) initiative, a platform aimed at discovering, inspiring and empowering young Nigerian fashion talents, has been launched in Lagos.

The unveiling ceremony held at Eko Hotel & Suites on Saturday.

In attendance were top Nigerian and African fashion designers including Idia Aisien and Mai Atafo.

Other fashion enthusiasts, designers and stylists like Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Latasha Ngwube, Mary Edoro, Deola Adebiyi, Valerie Ike, Oroma Rukevwe, Bolaji Ayinde, Angel Bassey, and Baaqi also attended the event.

Idia Aisien, the spokesperson for the project, expressed delight in the reception the programme has already received based on the number of key industry players who graced the launch.

“Every corner you look to, there’s either a budding model or anyone interested in bringing their stylish design ideas to life, and we need to give them a chance.

“We want the message to go as far as possible, and reach everyone interested in fashion so we can expose the very best designers to the rest of the world,” she said.

Ms Aisen also outlined the goals of the initiative and the journey each designer is expected to undergo in their bid to become the next big thing on the fashion scene.

The stages include an online fashion challenge, a fashion training academy and a runway fashion show where the finalists will exhibit their works to the public.

Also commenting, celebrated Nigerian fashion designer, Ohimai Atafo, said, “Opportunities like this don’t come every day in the fashion industry and I’m happy I get to work with the guys at Jakaranda and Oracle to pull this off.”

DFA founder, Felix King, also revealed that they are also on the lookout for the next generation of Nigerian fashion designers who would take the industry to the next level.

He said, “The Design Fashion Africa platform presents a unique opportunity to empower existing and upcoming designers to commercialize their talents. We plan to showcase the best of African fashion to the world.

“But beyond just a showcase, the program plans to provide some training during the fashion boot camp, after which the finalists would be selected.”

For fashion enthusiasts, DFA is expected to provide a trove of delightful activities.

They range from an online fashion challenge to a runway show which is expected to attract top models and fashion designers from Nigeria and across Africa.

A major highlight announced by the organisers would be the marketplace, where guests can purchase outfits and fashion accessories.

Other highlights are a business grant worth N1 million to set up a business as well as free training and mentorship sessions with accomplished fashion designers.

A fashion academy will also run for a day before the selection of the final designers who would present on the runway.

The DFA boot camp is expected to open on October 3.

Check out photos from the event below

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