Nigeria’s vibrant new high street—right at your fingertips!

In a daze of an epiphany – like the one where you suddenly realize, in the middle of a pleasant Sunday, that tomorrow is Monday – it dawned on me that Nigeria has a new “high street” shopping culture and guess the location…online! 

Indeed, Nigeria’s bustling high street has found a vibrant new home online. You might think, “So what? Isn’t everything online these days?” But hear me out—this revelation is a game-changer, especially for someone who once dreamt of shopping sprees akin to those in Birmingham’s Bullring Mall or Manchester’s Arndale Centre. Perhaps it’s the result of being bombarded with glossy depictions of Western shopping paradises.

So what are the stats on Nigeria’s new high street?

In Nigeria, a country where 122.5 million individuals possess a mobile phone and 31.6 million actively engage on social media platforms, the influence of digital connectivity is unmistakable. This digital expanse has notably propelled Nigeria’s fashion e-commerce to represent 19% of the nation’s total e-commerce sphere, thereby serving a vast potential market of an impressive 213 million people. This underscores the pivotal role of digital platforms in shaping consumer behaviour and highlights the burgeoning opportunities within Nigeria’s fashion e-commerce landscape, catering to a diverse and rapidly expanding audience.

If Lucia Pissedu from the BD School is on point, suggesting that a market’s size can significantly influence sales and a business’s triumph, then Nigeria’s online marketplace emerges as a goldmine of possibilities for the burgeoning fashion scene. This insight unveils a vast expanse of untapped potential, inviting fashion visionaries and entrepreneurs to explore and capitalize on Nigeria’s digital commerce’s vibrant and diverse landscape. Here, the intertwining of culture, innovation, and style presents a unique platform for fashion to flourish, offering an unparalleled opportunity to connect with a wide and eager audience.

Stores on the high street

Zephans & Co. via Instagram

The world of online shopping is expansive and full of experiences, much like the offerings of Zephans & Co. This brand, originating from Nigeria, prides itself on sourcing and producing locally, positioning itself as the Nigerian woman’s go-to for trendy, fast fashion akin to the high-street shopping experience. With a following that continues to grow through hotly anticipated, celebrity-designed collaborations, Zephans is paving the way for what opportunities lie ahead for Nigeria’s online high street.

And they are not alone; other brands, like Shakara House and Studio Bonita, have carved out a youthful and seductive appeal in this vast market. My sister, once a fervent collector of international high street labels, is swiftly amassing a remarkable collection of outfits from Nigerian brands. She shares, “There’s a shift happening… The only items I shop for abroad these days are lingerie and nightwear; I find everything else right here at home.” For an instant wardrobe refresh, she turns to Zephans, pairs it with a chic Mak Nisy handbag, and completes her ensemble with footwear from Lucy Daves.


Lucy Daves sling-backs via Instagram

Let me break it down for you: in the wild world of online shopping, you’ve got the good stuff (think killer outfits), the not-so-great moments (like when customer service is a headache), and the downright sketchy (hello, scam city, or as we call it, 419). There’s a whole spectrum from awesome clothes to dealing with customer service and dodging scams. Me? I’ve managed to steer clear of scams so far—call it good instincts or just plain luck, but I’m not complaining. Despite the occasional bumps, we’re all here for the thrill of online scoring that high-street vibe.

Mak Nisa top handle bag via Instagram


In Nigeria, we’re not just shopping but curating collections of premium Nigerian and high street fashion. It began with the trend of #wearnigerian, but now, it’s time to upgrade that to #WEARINGNIGERIAN. And why? Because it’s not only Nigerians who are embracing our fashion. The global stage is adorned with Nigerian designs. Take a moment to consider your favourite icons—aren’t they spotted in Andrea Iyamah’s swimwear or decked out in Lisa Folawiyo’s creations? For those yet to join the bandwagon, it’s high time they did because #WEARINGNIGERIAN is the movement. Ladies, the fashion revolution is happening online. The era of longing for international labels in Nigeria is over.

Issa Rae wearing Lisa Folawiyo on promotional poster for Insecure via Instagram

How are buyers finding these brands?

In the dynamic world of digital fashion, the intersection of tech and style has ushered in an era where our Instagram feeds and online shopping habits collide in the most serendipitous ways. Thanks to the innovative online marketplaces introduced by fintech giants like Paystack, Flutterwave, and GTCO’s MarketHub, we’re constantly discovering a vibrant array of Nigerian fashion SMEs and startups right at our fingertips. This phenomenon, which I affectionately dub “social media juju” (or, for the tech-savvy among us, the wonders of social media algorithms), has an almost magical way of presenting us with fashion finds we’ve been dreaming of.

Imagine casually scrolling through Instagram stories, mulling over the idea of adding a chic brown ribbed top from Laurens & Co. to your wardrobe. Lo and behold, as if reading your mind, up pops a sponsored ad featuring that exact item in an enchanting brown scape studio setting. It’s as though the universe (or, more accurately, the algorithms) has conspired to bring your fashion desires to your digital doorstep.

This seamless blend of algorithmic precision and aesthetic presentation does more than just fuel our shopping impulses; it creates a narrative that’s almost too coincidental to be mere chance. It’s a testament to how intertwined our digital lives have become with our personal style choices. For those of us who live and breathe fashion, these moments of unexpected discovery aren’t just convenient—they’re a thrilling part of the modern shopping experience.

So, the next time you find yourself being seduced by the perfect piece you were just daydreaming about, remember: it’s not just social media juju at work. It’s a sign that the digital fashion landscape is evolving in exciting ways, making it easier than ever for us to connect with the brands and trends we love.

The future of high street fashion online

As we look to the future, the online high street is set to continue its growth, with brands increasingly focusing on personalization, immersive shopping experiences, and furthering their sustainability initiatives. Virtual fitting rooms, AI-powered style recommendations, and augmented reality are just a few advancements that enhance the online shopping experience, making it more interactive and personalized.

The embrace of high street fashion online marks a new chapter in the industry that celebrates style, sustainability, and accessibility. As consumers, we have the power to support this positive change, choosing brands that make us look good and do good for the planet.

If you’ve made it this far, send me a DM on Instagram @effygolightly  and let me know what brands are on your radar these days.


  • Efua

    Efua Claire Jobi-Taiwo is the fashion and beauty editor at Marie Claire Nigeria. She is passionate about the future of fashion in Nigeria and believes the right outfit can transform the mind and spirit of anybody. She is an excellent event host, mediator and public speaker. She is hopeful to build a beautiful life by God's grace. She is married with a beautiful son and lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

    View all posts
React to this post!
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.