Nigerian designers are having their time in the spotlight as we are realising the
Kunmi Otitọju, the founder of Minku, is known for incorporating a fabric she loves, the Yoruba aṣọ òkè into her designs, especially to line the interior of the luxury bags.
Although she begun her journey in Lagos, Kunmi's Minku, which is an anagram of her first name, is now based in Barcelona where she’s had the opportunity of interacting with the Spanish fashion scene. She showed at the 2014 Barcelona Fashion Week, and was also at the Lagos Fashion Week which is fast becoming a must-stop on the annual Fashion Week calendars of the world.
Zainab Ashadu decided to use the centuries-old dyeing of leather trade in Northern Nigeria, using natural plants to make her dyes, as the first step produce high-end luxury handbags.
Her use of only natural dyes for which she has recruited very skilled artisans from Northern Nigeria where she hails from attracts great interest beyond Nigeria where the idea of sustainability is taken very seriously.
Her luxury bags, which retail for hundreds of dollars, are being carried by stores in Lagos, Paris, Johannesburg to name but a few.
Zainab studied at the London Fashion College to have knowledge of her chosen profession beyond the expertise she had gained after entering the world of fashion bag design. Every Nigerian fashionista worth her salt has a , we can spot a Zashadu a mile away.
Shekudo’s founder Akudo Iheakanwa produces her pieces completely in Nigeria and the lion-share of her materials are locally sourced. She initially believed that Nigerian artisans did not have the skills to produce to the level she required and looked to Australia and Asia initially.
She eventually made her way back home and realised that not only was the talent here but she was helping contribute to the growth of the luxury creative economy in Nigeria.
For brands such as Shekudo that are willing to navigate through the production and logistic challenges that they could encounter, there is a certain satisfaction in being a part of those leading the charge for African luxury and carving out a commercial space for it in the global market place.