Fashion week is a highly respected and recognised phenomenon that brings a community of established and new designers, models, creatives, and fashion lovers from all walks of life together, at least in most parts of the world. In Lagos, Nigeria, however, it’s become some sort of competitive display of faux fashion enthusiasm.
How is the global fashion industry to take Nigeria seriously if we have more than 3 fashion weeks just within weeks from each other? In March this year, we had the Lagos Fashion Week Presentations (formally LFDW). Also in March, we had the Arise Magazine Fashion Week and barely a month after we are having the Lagos Bridal Fashion Week. For indigenous fashion lovers like myself, this is a dream come true, we get to see so many artistic pieces from so many designers in such a short space of time. For the international community, however, this just screams “amateur”.
In other parts of the world, certain regions have a single recognised and highly respected fashion week. In the USA its New York Fashion Week, in England its London Fashion Week, in France it’s Paris Fashion Week … and so on. In Nigeria, however, there’s Arise Fashion Week, African Fashion Week Lagos, Lagos Fashion Week, Lagos Bridal Fashion Week, Fashion’s Finest and the list goes on and on and on.
In my opinion at this stage, the fashion industry in Nigeria is a ten-year-old inexperienced girl compared to her international counterparts who are quite similar to Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada…exactly, they would eat us for breakfast.
With every industry, in the beginning, there is a tug of war amongst the main competitors. Think ‘The Hunger Games’, each main player is trying to survive in an environment that is rigged with obstacles and individuals that want to see you fail, its every man for himself and the winner takes all. That’s honestly the situation, there’s a tug of war among these ‘fashion weeks’ and only a few (or none) will be able to stand the test of time (and the test of Nigeria) in the end. So let’s sit back relax and enjoy the show. May the best fashion week win.