These Nigerian brands are transforming the ready-to-wear space!

Have you noticed the incredible buzz around African fashion lately? It’s hard to miss, with a wave of visionary designers bringing a fresh blend of cultural heritage and contemporary style to the scene. These Nigerian trailblazers are redefining ready-to-wear (RTW) fashion, creating unique, high-quality clothing that speak to a diverse and discerning audience.

Evolution of the Nigerian ready-to-wear industry

Historically, finding affordable and diverse ready-to-wear (RTW) fashion in Nigeria wasn’t always easy. For a long time, the Nigerian fashion industry was dominated by bespoke tailoring, where garments were custom-made for individual clients. This meant that high-quality, fashionable clothing was often expensive and time-consuming to produce, accessible primarily to the affluent.

The concept of RTW fashion, which refers to factory-made clothing, sold in finished condition in standardised sizes, was relatively new to Nigeria. In the past, imported RTW garments from Europe and the United States filled the market, but these often did not cater to the diverse body types and fashion sensibilities of Nigerians. Additionally, the high cost of imported goods made them inaccessible to many. Enter these brands. They have changed the game, offering pieces tailored to varying groups of people and different lifestyles.

Are you curious to know who’s leading this stylish revolution? Let’s explore the stories of five standout brands: TNL Designs, Made by Nayo, Andrea Iyamah, Banke Kuku, and Twenty Six Co.

Banke Kuku: Luxurious prints and textiles

Banke Kuku via Instagram
Mo Abudu via Marieclairenigeria

Founded by Nigerian designer Banke Lawson in 2011, Banke Kuku has become synonymous with luxurious, colourful textiles and intricate prints. Drawing inspiration from both her West African heritage and her upbringing in London, Lawson’s designs merge cultural influences with modern aesthetics. Trained at Central Saint Martins and Chelsea College of Art and Design, Lawson brings a fine art sensibility to her fabric-focused label. Her creations, ranging from flowing kaftans to contemporary kimonos, have been worn by prominent figures like Tiwa Savage and Michelle Obama, and major retailers like Selfridges London stocked her interior pieces

TNL Designs: Stylish power dressing for modern professionals

TNL designs via Instagram
TNL designs via Instagram

Founded in 2013 by sisters, Ngozi and Chika Okafor, TNL Designs (Things Nigerians Love) emerged from a desire to fill a significant gap in the Nigerian fashion market. Frustrated by the lack of affordable, stylish local options and the prevalence of overpriced imports, the Okafor sisters created their brand. TNL Designs specialises in crafting contemporary Nigerian clothing that resonates with local culture while appealing to modern tastes. Vibrant prints, innovative cuts, and a commitment to quality, making TNL Designs a beloved name in Nigeria’s fashion landscape characterised their collections.

Made by Nayo: Made to feel sexy and comfortable

Made by Nayo via Instagram
Made by Nayo via Instagram

Made by Nayo (mBn) is the brainchild of Nayo, a certified fashion designer who began her journey in 2014. Taught by her mother and later refined at the prestigious Fedisa fashion school in South Africa, Nayo launched mBn in 2017. The brand, which operates out of Lagos and Cape Town, is dedicated to creating unique, handmade pieces that empower women. Each design is inspired by human experiences, life stories, and the essence of womanhood, making mBn not just a clothing line, but a narrative of empowerment and connection.

Andrea Iyamah: Bold and adventurous resort wear

Andrea Iyamah, established in 2011, has carved out a niche with its bold and culturally rich resort wear. Known for its classic silhouettes and vibrant designs, the brand caters to women who embody adventure in spirit, mind, and style. The recent bridal and resort collections, along with their feature at the Revolve gallery in New York, showcase Iyamah’s commitment to high-quality, statement-making pieces. Additionally, the brand’s expansion into accessories like bags and rings highlights its versatility and broad appeal.

Twenty Six Co: Practical elegance for everyday wear

Twenty via Instagram

Adesola Falomo’s Twenty Six Co is a brand rooted in simplicity, practicality, and elegance. Inspired by her family’s entrepreneurial spirit, Falomo began by making simple skirts for herself and her friends, which quickly gained popularity. Twenty Six Co’s designs focus on thoughtful details and distinctive fabrics, creating clothing that allows wearers to move through their days with ease and style. The brand emphasises comfort, community, and authenticity, resonating deeply with a growing audience that values both aesthetics and function.

From TNL Designs’ celebration of Nigerian love to Made by Nayo’s empowerment through design, Andrea Iyamah’s adventurous resort wear, Banke Kuku’s innovative textiles, and Twenty Six Co’s practical elegance, these labels are transforming the way we perceive and wear African fashion. As they continue to grow and influence the global market, they represent the vibrant future of fashion on the continent.


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