Lagos Fashion Week is no doubt the hottest fashion event in Nigeria w. both local and African fashion collections are shown to buyers, press and the general public. The event usually held in October in Lagos every year, gathering the chicest brands, hottest names, showgoers, as well as a host of observers across the world. It is not just the major fashion week in Nigeria but a leading fashion event on the African fashion calendar, which has boost up the industry since its inception in 2011.
However, it’s undeniable that the Nigerian fashion industry is a potentially huge market and major financial institutions have in recent years jumped in to benefit from this opportunity. These institutions are none other than Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank PLC, independently setting up their own Fashion Week: GTBank Fashion Weekend and Style by Zenith.
These banks compete head-to-head, staging lavish Fashion Weeks every year, just on the heels of Lagos Fashion Week. And because of that, Adebayo Okelawal — the creative director of androgynous fashion brand, Orange Culture, is calling out the 2 banks that rather than more fashion weeks, Nigeria needs support in “clothing manufacturing, fashion education, labor acquisition, textile manufacturing, and grants for designers, not loans with high interest.”
Adebayo, who’s making a huge point in his statement further stated how the banks enrich the pockets of foreign designers by flying them into the country when t. have zero supports for their own. “So, if banks really want to help, stop wasting money flying designers in from countries that would never fly us out and work on funding platforms that are developing the industry or invest directly,” he wrote on his social media.
Meanwhile, during the 2019 GTBank bank fashion week last month, the financial giant flew in more than 7 foreign facilitators including Beyonce’s makeup artist Sir John, London-based Serbian fashion designer Roksanda Ilinčić, US celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble, Law Roach — the stylist responsible for Celine Dion’s fashion overhaul, Paula Cademartori, Huishan Zhang, and Natalie Kingham of Matchesfashion.com.
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