Ms. Deola Ade-Ojo is a Nigerian-born fashion designer is known for her design name, Deola Sagoe. She began designing in 1988 when she joined her mother’s business with a view of expanding the label’s repertoire to encompass more contemporary designs for the ever-developing, cosmopolitan high-brow society. Using African hand-woven materials, she brought infused a range of distinct cultures; and contemporizing almost-lost traditional African techniques, Deola quickly became an icon in her field.
Deola is well known for her uncanny attention to detail, her expert handling of fabrics, and her exemplary grasp of a wide range of female body types. She is celebrated back home for her patriotism and zeal in Nigerian culture at large. Her ingenuity and innovativeness combined with solid business acumen and vision have seen her win various accolades, awards, and recognition over the years.
Having been the first black woman to present a collection at AltaRoma, Rome’s celebrated fashion week, back in 2004 and the first Nigerian to have her stand-alone show at the New York Fashion Week September 2014, she continues to lead the way in trailblazing Nigeria on the global fashion map.
With humble beginnings from MNET Face of Africa 1998, her fashion design credentials leaped forward when she subsequentially won the MNET Anglo Gold African Design Award (New York) in 2000 upon nomination by influential US Vogue Editor Andre Leon Tally. In 2001, Deola was rated number 37 on the African Almanac scale of 100 most influential Africans. In 2004, Deola marked a milestone of pioneering the introduction of authentic African-infused clothing to the Alta Roma Alta Moda Fashion week.
In 2007, she was recognized at the 10th International Star Awards in Paris and merited the Platinum Quality Award for her superior clothing. In a similar vein, she was awarded the International Quality Award (in the diamond category) of Excellence and Business prestige at the Quality Summit in New York, 2008. In 2010, the Deola Sagoe brand was recognized as a ‘Super Brand’ and one of the Super Brand’s Certificates of Excellence in the Fashion Design and Label category. In 2015 she featured in and produced costumes for the monumental film on Nigeria’s independence directed by Kunle Afolayan: “October 1” and merited herself the Multichoice- Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award for Best Costume Designer.