Nigerian Afrocentric fashion is as diverse as the nation itself, and these brands consistently embody the opulent culture of the country by showcasing the beauty and authenticity of our traditions through fashion.
Afrocentric fashion encompasses pieces that pay homage to indigenous African textiles, fabrics, and techniques, as well as the craftsmanship of artisans. This fashion movement reveres Africa’s authentic beauty and cultural significance, seamlessly incorporating these elements into clothing.
Renowned textiles such as Adire, Ankara, Lace, Aso-oke, Kente, and Bogolan are absorbed into outfits that resonate with tradition and contemporaneity. Their patterns, cuts, and motifs unique to Africa are skillfully integrated by artisans who have mastered these techniques. This style has become a staple for the African Diaspora, embodying a genuine connection to heritage.
By crafting chic pieces, these brands are all about celebrating the true essence of our culture. Whether you’re into high-end or mid-range fashion, these Nigerian Afrocentric brands are wardrobe must-haves!
Afrocentric fashion brands to shop right now
Lisa Folawiyo, the brain behind her eponymous brand, is a true fashion maven. She’s not your typical designer; she boldly moved from a legal career to global fashion stardom. Her brand is a true sustainability champion, taking fabrics like Ankara and lace and turning them into exquisite high-end creations. And let’s not forget her star-studded clientele – Lupita Nyong’o, Solange Knowles, Tiwa Savage, and many more have all fallen in love with her unique designs.
Image: Lisa Folawiyo via website
Since 2016, Ace Kouture has been on a vibrant fashion journey, transforming how women embrace African wax prints in their style. With a dazzling array of modern pieces, from stylish pants sets to elegant kimonos, their inclusive sizes range from XS to 3XL. Unsurprisingly, this brand has become a beloved favourite, even capturing the heart of its forever muse, Angel Obasi.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Abiola Olusola graduated in 2015 with a BFA in fashion design from Istituto Marangoni Paris. Her eponymous brand, launched in 2017, combines minimalist cuts and sleek architecture with African subcultures and craftsmanship. She is dedicated to showcasing local African artisans and traditional fabrics within a contemporary context with a commitment to sustainability. Abiola’s pieces are characterised by sleek, minimal, and feminine designs that emphasise quality and sophistication. Pastel hues like pink, yellow, and blue dominate her palette, creating stunning pieces. Her creations have graced celebrities such as actress Eku Edewor, fashion designer and creative Derinfromisaleeko, and the talented musician Falana.
Deola Sagoe’s brand is a trailblazer in African haute couture. Renowned for its exceptional quality and tailored precision, the brand creates bespoke clothing and bridal wear. Their famous “komole” design, with its innovative blend of aso-oke and lace, won the hearts of many Nigerian brides. Made with fabric motifs and designs, the brand describes ‘komole’ as an outfit that elevates the wearer to royalty level.
Owned by Deola Ade-Ojo, the first Nigerian to have her stand-alone show at the New York Fashion Week in September 2014, the brand has garnered global acclaim, pushing the boundaries of African fashion with a commitment to excellence.
Banke Kuku, a visionary fashion designer with a background in textiles, has redefined loungewear with her eponymous brand since 2019. Her creations seamlessly blend the comfort of loungewear with the vibrancy of African prints and motifs. These phenomenal pieces tell a story and evoke culture, effortlessly bridging the gap between comfort and luxury. Banke’s designs have graced the prestigious runways of Lagos Fashion Week and Dubai Expo 2020, showcasing a global appeal. Additionally, her collections have found a home at renowned stockists such as the Galeries Lafayette Doha, solidifying her brand’s position as a leader in Afrocentric fashion, where African heritage meets contemporary elegance.
Transitioning from being a TV producer and screenwriter, Adetoke Oluwo unexpectedly gave life to the brand SGTC. She constantly speaks of starting the brand with a capital of Fifty Thousand Naira (N50,000), and with the support of her family, the Afrocentric fashion brand ‘Style Goes To Church’ was born. Over the years, SGTC has become a go-to for African fashion lovers with bold pieces made in an exciting pattern mix. SGTC has graced prestigious runways, including the esteemed Fashion Finest show, cementing its status as a beloved choice for creatives and celebrities. Icons like Ada Ehi Moses, Bisola Aiyeola, and Sharon Ooja have all embraced the brand’s distinctive flair. Notably, our Afro-loving Fashion Editor, Wumi’ Tuase, has been an avid supporter of SGTC for several years, attesting to its enduring appeal and style.
“Ofure,” rooted in the Ishan language, carries a profound meaning – “it is well.” Since its inception in 2015 by Tehilah Abakasanga, Ofuure has been unwavering in its commitment to crafting versatile garments that encapsulate Africa’s vibrant colours and intricate patterns. Emerging as one of Nigeria’s foremost Afrocentric brands, it has garnered a devoted following, including luminaries like Issa Rae and Kelly Rowland. With an inclusive approach, Ofuure celebrates women of all body types, ensuring their attire exudes confidence and grace.
Ziva Lagos, a prominent ready-to-wear fashion brand, made its entrée into the vibrant Lagos fashion landscape in 2016, guided by the creative vision of Tania Omotayo. This brand is deeply anchored in Nigeria’s rich heritage, epitomising this commitment by exclusively sourcing materials locally and producing exquisite pieces within the nation’s borders. Over the years, Ziva Lagos has proudly graced prestigious fashion stages, from the illustrious Arise Fashion Week to the Elite Model Look Africa. It has found a cherished place in the wardrobes of notable figures like Olutosin Araromi and Anna Ebiere. It has brilliantly exemplified how contemporary fashion can seamlessly intertwine with cultural roots, creating a narrative that resonates with Nigeria and the global fashion community.
Cynthia Otiyo-Abila, the ingenious designer at the helm of Cynthia Abila, weaves more than just fabric; she weaves narratives. Her design studio, rooted in the heart of Abuja, brings to life statement collections that elegantly bridge the gap between timeless tradition and the contemporary aesthetics craved by today’s modern women. Every piece is a testament to Cynthia’s commitment to preserving heritage, crafted meticulously from hand-woven silks and cotton, often by a talented team of female artisans. Beyond textiles, Cynthia Abila’s creations feature exquisite coral beadwork and intricate cultural illustrations, all serving as powerful symbols of identity and status.
Angel Obasi guides us through the art of styling her cherished ensemble from this remarkable brand in the inaugural episode of MCN’s #TheLook. She reveals how Cynthia Abila’s creations are more than just clothing; they are stories of heritage, craftsmanship, and contemporary allure.
Rendoll is a global womenswear brand founded in June 2019 by a Nigerian Fashion and Beauty Entrepreneur, Morenikeji Abina. The brand inspires confidence, celebrates femininity, and promotes body positivity.
Rendoll collaborates with a network of fabric suppliers worldwide to source the finest materials in its dedication to ethical craftsmanship. All pieces are skillfully created by gifted artisans who receive above-average wages, ensuring top-notch quality and empowering those involved. Their collections boast sleek silhouettes that accentuate the beauty of the body, with an array of vibrant colours in custom prints. Notably, Rendoll’s creations have been spotted on fashion creatives such as Asiyami Gold, Agatha of Irony of Ashi, Simi Moonlight, and Denola Grey.
In elevating culture, these brands consistently represent the African heritage while promoting authenticity through their pieces.
Which of these brands do you currently have in your wardrobe? Looking to add any of them? Let us know!