Maki Oh Amaka Osakwe: From Naija to the White House and beyond

Lupita Nyong’o, Solange, Issa Rae and Beyonce have joined the list of high profile people who have publicly sported the Maki Oh label.

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Amaka Osakwe, Founder of Maki Oh play

Amaka Osakwe, Founder of Maki Oh

(businessoffashion)
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Heads turned and tongues wagged in 2013 when Michelle Obama, then First Lady of the United States, wore a little known label (at the time) called Maki Oh, for an event at the Sci-Bono Discovery Center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Maki Oh 'The Sport of Asó EbÍ' Collection play

Maki Oh 'The Sport of Asó EbÍ' Collection

 

Since then Lupita Nyong’o, Solange, Issa Rae and Beyonce have joined the list of high profile people who have publicly sported the Maki Oh label, owned by Lagos-born Amaka Osakwe

Osakwe’s work is rooted in Nigerian culture and her runway shows display references to life in Nigeria, project messages of female empowerment, and feature only women of color.

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The clothes blend Nigerian craftsmanship and materials with Western silhouettes. Osakwe is achieving this mix by reviving the Nigerian art of adire (cloth dyeing) which helps her creates patterns that have specific meaning. 

Clothing used to be a form of communication,” she says, according to Fast Company. “Cloth would allow you to make a statement, like, ‘I’m happy that you’re here,’ or ‘I’m sorry about what I did earlier.’ ”

Lady Gaga play

Lady Gaga in Maki Oh

(Instagram)

 

Osakwe is listed amongst Fast Company’s “Most Creative People of 2017” as she expands global distribution of Maki Oh. She is also working on a more affordable ready-to-wear line.