From the 14th to the 18th of September, Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week conducted regional auditions in Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja to scout for the 2015 Fashion Focus Finalists.
Over 150 young designers presented their portfolios and finished designs for the opportunity to be shortlisted as a 2015 Fashion Focus Finalist to a panel of established industry stakeholders, such as, Akpos Okudu in Port Harcourt, Ogwa Iweze, Creative Director of Dzyn in Abuja and Amaka Osakwe, Creative Director, Maki Oh in Lagos. The panel also consisted of Heineken Lagos Fashion & Design Week partners; Godson Ukaegbu, Editor-In-Chief of Mania Magazine, Jennifer Onochie, Programs Manager, Arts & Creative Industry, British Council Nigeria & Mobolaji Sadare, Buyer at Nigerian Retail Store, Grey Velvet.
One of the designers who presented was Asev Silas, Creative Director Sildek-Style-City, a 3rd time applicant who made it to the 2013 Fashion Focus workshops facilitated by British Council and hopes to be selected as a finalist this year. Commenting on why he keeps applying to take part in the program he said, “I keep coming back because the Lagos Fashion and Design Week Fashion Focus workshops helped me to understand my brand and the business of fashion. The knowledge imparted during the workshops, has been integral in keeping my business running”.
Heineken LFDW Fashion Focus continues to reward and present opportunities for emerging talents to harness their skills and ensure they sustain a global presence to a wider audience.
British Council Nigeria has worked with Lagos Fashion and Design Week since inception to facilitate the capacity building and skills development vision for the platform. “The growth of the Nigerian Fashion sector is creating an opportunity for increased artistic participation and international collaboration. Through the British Council’s partnership with Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week, we provide a platform to continue to facilitate long term UK – Nigeria fashion collaboration by encouraging artistic expression by young people, providing skills to support the development of a viable and sustainable fashion industry in Nigeria and exposing new people to new work from Nigeria and the UK reciprocally. We value the dedication of the designers that auditioned in all three cities. They gave us the very tough job of only selecting 16 young designers to work with”, reiterated Jennifer Onochie, Program Manager, Arts & Creative Industries of British Council Nigeria.
Remarking on the talent seen during the Lagos regionals, Mobolaji Sadare, a Buyer at Grey Velvet said, “Heineken Lagos Fashion & Design Week Fashion Focus Initiative is a wonderful platform with amazing opportunities for emerging designers. During the regionals, we were able to sift through all auditions to find true raw talent. I’m excited to see which finalists emerge and I look forward to seeing their brands grow within the industry”.
Godson Ukaegbu, Editor-in-Chief Mania Magazine, who judged at the Port Harcourt and Abuja regional auditions also expressed his excitement for the shortlisted applicants; “With the promising few scouted at the Fashion Focus auditions, the Nigerian fashion industry is headed in the right direction”.
Fashion Focus finalists will be presented at a Heineken LFDW networking event on the 9th of October and offered opportunities to participate in targeted workshops and networking sessions in partnership with various institutions and prestigious industry leaders locally and internationally.
Fashion Focus is a collaboration between Heineken LFDW and British Council that is supported by International Fashion School Istituto Marangoni with campuses in Italy and London and Nigerian Retail Store, Grey Velvet.
Heineken LFDW sponsors Maybelline and Fayrouz will lend their continued support to Heineken LFDW.
Media Partners: Guardian Newspaper, Mania Magazine, Genevieve Magazine, BellaNaija.com, Pulse.NG and Kamdora.com. Official Style Partner: StyleVitae.com.