15 Emerging Designers in Nigeria To Look Out for in 2015


BlackNBold Fashion House presents some 15 Emerging Fashion Designers to lookout for in the year 2015. The aim of this series is to encourage young and upcoming fashion designers in Nigeria. The list was compiled by a board of fashion judges who did a comprehensive research into the world of fashion proteges in Nigeria.

Oluwatobi Akintoye (T16 World of Fashion)


Oluwatobi is the creative director and founder of T16 world of Fashion. A final year student of the  University of Lagos, Akoka where she is studying Guidance and Counseling. She began her career as a tailor, but because of her humble beginning, passion for fashion and drive to be successful, this helped facilitate her rise through the ranks, first as a tailor and now as a designer. In her sojourn into the beautiful world of fashion she had the opportunity to be mentored by the likes of Mai Atafo and Lanre Da Silva.  Her brand is an effortless, timeless and wearable Line that reflects the kind of woman.

She was part of the top 15 Fashion Focus finalists of GTB Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2014 and was amongst the Top 4 finalist of the DSTV Fashion Protege Contest. She has showcased at Africa fashion week Nigeria, Lagos Fashion And Design week, and MTN Business Overlook Forum. She has also enjoyed massive publicity on various media platforms in Nigeria.
Lagos Fashion And Design Week 2014 was her break through for this young and promising designer. She debuted her collection SS15 early this year and the year is already looking very promising for Oluwatobi.


Akabogu Ogochukwu (Lines by Chaab)


Akabogu Ogochukwu is the creative director of the rising brand, ‘Lines by Chaab‘, a fashion design outfit dedicated to presenting its customers with  different clothing options ranging from hand embellished clothing to stunning texture play, colour play as well as pattern play in the unique art of mix and match as never seen before. Akabogu Ogochukwu translates her love for languages and art into a universal language…..fashion.

She emerged winner of  the Nigeria’s’ Next Top Designer Competition which was aired on various TV stations in Nigeria  and later going on to win the Music Meets Runway Rising Icon Competition 2014. And this has been the turning point in the life of this young designer. She has also showcased at the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria and Winasbet Nigerian Student Fashion And Design Week, which is the biggest fashion showcase in Africa for student designers. In 2014, Ogo was rated as one of the top 12 newcomers in the industry by BlackNBold Fashion House. Ogo and her works has been featured on E! Online, Africa Magic , Studio 53, Pulse.ng, Onobello.com, Bella Naija and a host of others.
The year 2015 is looking bright for this young designer as she already has a host of top clients patronizing her brand and she will be showcasing her 2015 Collection at the Music Meets Runway later this year.


Omowunmi Owonifari (Mo’fari Couture)


Omowunmi is the  founder/creative engine behind the “regal” Fashion label MO’FARI COUTURE. She graduated from the Olabisi Onabanjo University where she studied accounting. She is also a graduate of Fate Foundation business school.  Omowunmi Owonifari began her career studying fashion design from the prestigious Nobel Afrik training and dress making school in Nigeria in the year 2011. Upon Graduating, the invaluable experience gained inspired omowunmi to fulfil her lifelong dream to launch her “Regal” fashion brand MOFARI COUTURE in June 2011 while still on Training.

Her participation in several competitions has made her brand grow fast. Her major Achievement so far in the industry was being a part of the Top 15 Lagos Fashion and Design week And British Council Fashion Focus 2014 Finalist, which she claims was a major breakthrough for her brand. Her latest collection S/S15 was showcased at the just concluded Lagos Fashion and Design week 2014. She was one of the four finalist at the 2015 Zinkata Red carpet challenge. Her work has been featured in several fashion blogs and TV programmes. In June 2014 she got an editorial feature in the Guardian Newspaper as the Designer of the Week.


Folu Ajayi (House of Dabira)


Folu is the third of four children, born to the family of Professor and Dr (Mrs.) Michael Ajayi. She attended Staff School and the International School Ibadan, University of Ibadan, for her primary and secondary education, respectively. She recently graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan. She is the Creative Director of the House of Dabira, a fashion brand created December 2011.

Although like most other designers, fashion started for Folu at a very young age. Her brand “House of Dabira” is an household name at the University of Ibadan and she remains one of the most successful young designers to have graduated from her university in recent times. She was a nominee of The Students Union Government Awards, Best Student-Owned Organisation, September 2013,  and The Oyo 30under30 Awards, Fashion Category, in December 2013. And has won the following awards; The Junior Chambers International(JCI), Fifteen Outstanding Persons Awards, Most Outstanding Person In Entrepreneurship, March 2014; Oyo Students Entrepreneurship Awards, Entrepreneur Of The Year, September 2014;  Realad UI Awards, Fashion Icon Of The Year, December 2014.

She has showcased at the Nigerian Television Fashion Show, The Dreams Come True Show With Jazzyb, Miss Heritage Competition, Ife Runway Fashion Show. In 2013, an official launch for the brand was held in April at the University of Ibadan; after which she participated at the Nigerian Student Fashion And Design Week in June, at the University of Lagos, Yaba.  In 2013, she also established the House of Dabira Campaign Against Domestic Violence Towards Women and Children. She recently won the Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge, for which she got to dress Dakore Egbuson-Akande for the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lekki, Lagos. The dress was a hit as Dakore Egbuson-Akande made the best dressed list of sites such as bellanaija.com, stylevitae.com, memkoh.com among many others. Bellanaija recently put up an article about the competition and the brand.
Bimbo Oye-Akinnifesi (Reni Smiths)


Bimbo Oye-Akinnifesi is the creative director of Reni Smiths. She spent her early years growing up in Lagos. Her grandmother was a seamstress thus giving her an early taste of the world of design and fashion. Beginning her formal training at Instituto di Moda Burgo where she got a diploma in fashion styling. She entered the exciting world of fashion by establishing the Reni Smith brand which she launched at the 2013 edition of GTBank Lagos Fashion & Design Week as one of the top 10 young designers showcasing the Bella Donna collection.
After the launch, the brand received massive acceptance and she has had the honor of designing clothes for top female celebrities in Nigeria, as well as had the Reni Smith pieces worn on the red carpet for different award shows. Bimbo has been featured in notable fashion blogs, magazines and television programmes within and outside the country.

Vovwe Omoko (Ovems Fashion)


Vovwe Omoko graduated from the Department of Textile art at Delta State University in 2014 after which she pursued training at OSC College of Fashion. Her love for fashion started from when she was a child, and she has always received the support of her parents. Her brand originated from her passion to make clothes that interprets aesthetics and speak class.

Her major breakthrough was when she emerged as the most creative designer at the Winasbet Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week in 2014 which featured over 40 young designers from various states in Nigeria. This prize brought her to limelight as she was featured in various media platforms in Nigeria. Few months later, she went ahead to win the David Wej Half a Million Naira Fashion Competition. She also won the BlackNBold Fashion Awards for Young Designer of the Year.
She is presently an in house stylist and wardrobe designer for cool TV and wazobia TV and she has styled various celebrities in Nigeria. She presents the fashion and style show on the wazobia tv. She will be debuting the “Edgy And Classy” collection at the 2015 edition of Africa Fashion Week Nigeria.


Adebola Adebowale (Derb’s Signature)
Adebola Adebowale is the drive behind the fast growing fashion brand; Derb’s Signature, a Nigeria-UK trained engineer with an inseparable love for fashion. Derb’s signature is a true Nigerian dream reaching out to the world with innovation and originality.

Adebola has always loved fashion with insistent quest to fill the fashion gap and make better image and personality brand. She has been involved in different aspect of skill acquisition and practice. She showcased her collections at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 edition of the Bristol fashion week in England. She was also one of the four finalists of the Zinkata Red Carpet challenge where the winner had a chance to style Dakore to the 2015 edition of AMVCA. Her works has been featured in notable magazines in the UK and Nigeria.

She is presently working on a full collection Chic bohemian which will be released in winter 2015 and she will also be showcasing at some major fashion week in Nigeria this year.


Nkechi Sonia Ntekume (Spine Cut)

Nkechi has been quite crafty with the needles since her young age, she used to stitch out wears for her doll and crochet stitches. It was as though she was born to be a fashion designer.  She enrolled into a vocational and skills acquisition center; Youth Resource Center-Idia Renaissance in Benin, Edo state, where she learnt the basics of fashion designing for 6months and emerged as one of the top students of the department.

The 2014 graduand of the University Of Benin has  been into bespoke and made-to-measure of day to day occasion and bridal wears, offering a one on one service, and working closely with clients to create their ultimate dream outfits, ensuring perfect fit to suit individual tastes.

In 2014 she studied Fashion Design professionally  at Needlekraft Fashion School of Needlekraft Couture for 6months. Months into the training, she got involved in Exhibitions which formally introduced her brand to a part of the Lagos market. Later that year in September, she did a one month intermediate course in branding, collection making, pattern drafting plus fashion illustration at One Stop Celebration College of Fashion with Asanyah Davidson of Circa 24, as a tutor where she emerged winner of the project work which launched her first collection; Trumpet collection. Awesomely she’s Currently into a bridal course at Bride Affairs and an online programme too. 2015 is a year to watch out for this promising young designer.


Modupe Adeoti (17.09 Couture)

Spotted a few times on the red carpet, 17.09 Couture stores are go to places for red carpet events.  17.09 Couture was created by Modupe Adeoti who is also the Head Designer.

The Graduate of English Language from the University of Ado-Ekiti in the
year 2011, has the capacity to universalized the fashion world with her linguistic ability, she launched her Fashion Line in the year 2013.
17.09 Couture is a top notch brand and has been making its way to the top. With three collections released so far, the last been a runway collection
showcased at the Winasbet Nigerian Student Design And Fashion Week in 2014 which was referred to as the brands major debut.

Modupe has been featured on a few television programmes, fashion magazines and blogs. She was listed under the Top 12 fashion industry
newcomers in the year 2014 with her  brand in the Top 10. She was also one of the finalists that made it to the Game On house for team fashion, The reality TV show sponsored by Malta Guinness, which has been a huge break out for the brand.

She will be releasing the “Silver Lining Collection” in few weeks time. This collection will be showcased at major fashion shows in Nigeria. This is a promising year for this creative young designer.


To Be Continued …