We love these gender non-conforming fashion icons!

Celebrating gender non-conforming fashion icons!

When it comes to gender non-conforming fashion, every detail is a way to express yourself, breaking away from traditional style rules. Here, your identity shines through bold patterns and unique clothing cuts, making each outfit a statement of who you are. Makeup goes beyond beauty—it’s a tool to redefine what beauty means to you. In this creative space, there are no rules, just endless ways to show the world your true self through your style.

Denola Grey via Instagram

In Nigeria, gender non-conforming fashion takes on a bold and courageous dimension, thanks to trailblazing fashion icons who lead the way. These pioneers bring boldness, resilience, and authenticity to their designs, challenging rigid gender norms and reshaping the local fashion scene.

While women in Nigeria have more freedom to explore masculine styles like trousers and suits, often being praised for their strength and independence, men face stricter expectations. Yet, some fashion icons defy these conventions with their creative and stunning looks, celebrating individuality and inclusivity through their clothing and makeup. These renegades redefine what’s acceptable, turning fashion into a powerful statement of identity and self-expression.

Our favourite gender non-conforming fashion icons!

Denrele Edun

gender non-conforming fashion icons - Denrele
Derenle via Instagram

Nigerian TV presenter Denrele is a true fashion icon known for his fearless self-expression and flamboyant style. His bold wardrobe choices challenge societal norms and traditional gender expectations, redefining men’s fashion with sky-high heels and elaborate nail art. Despite facing public scrutiny, Denrele uses his platform to advocate for individuality and self-expression, inspiring others to embrace their uniqueness. His eccentric personality and daring fashion sense have made him a household name, paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse fashion landscape in Nigeria and beyond.

Derenle via Instagram

Fola Francis

gender non-conforming fashion icons - Fola Francis
Images via Morebranches

Fola Francis, a pioneer in the queer fashion scene and a true fashion icon, made history as the first transgender person to walk the runway at Lagos Fashion Week in November 2022. Living openly as a trans woman in Nigeria took immense bravery, and Fola embodied this with grace and resilience. Her bold runway appearances and fierce advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights left a lasting impact on both the fashion industry and the broader community.

Images via Morebranches

As a host in the Ballroom community, she empowered others to express themselves authentically. Despite facing ostracism and discrimination after coming out in 2021, Fola founded her own fashion brand, Fola Francis Official, offering gender-neutral clothing and using her platform for activism. Her garments supported causes like the #ENDSARS protests, with messages such as “Queer Lives Matter.” Fola Francis’s legacy is one of courage, creativity, and unwavering commitment to advocacy, inspiring LGBTQ+ individuals and transforming the Nigerian fashion landscape.

Alexandra Obochi

Alexandra Obochi via Instagram

In a society where same-sex affection and marriage are criminalized, Alexandra Obochi stands out as a fearless gender non-conforming fashion icon, documenting the lives of queer Nigerian women through her multidisciplinary artistry. As a makeup artist, stylist, and photographer, she uses fashion as a powerful tool for self-expression and autonomy, advocating for visibility and representation. Despite societal constraints, Obochi embraces experimentation and curiosity, constantly evolving her style. Her passion for makeup, which kept her grounded during the peak of COVID-19, allows her to create transformative looks that reflect her inner strength and resilience. As the owner of NDIICHE she honours traditional Nigerian craftsmanship with modern designs, and through PRISM, she fosters a vibrant community celebrating femininity, diversity, and empowerment. Alexandra Obochi’s work challenges norms redefines fashion and inspires others to embrace their authentic selves.

Alexandra Obochi via Instagram

Vche Uba

Vche Uba via Instagram

Vche Uba, a renowned stylist and true gender non-conforming fashion icon, stands out as a visionary in the fashion world. His innovative creations and commitment to challenging gender norms have earned him a well-deserved spotlight in the industry. Collaborating with esteemed brands like Studio IMO and Andrea Iyamah, Vche has solidified his reputation with his unique vision and styling. His personal style captivates audiences worldwide, effortlessly blending masculine and feminine aesthetics. Whether he’s in a crop top, crochet dress, or his signature wide-leg pants with free-flowing tops and heels, Vche exudes confidence and authenticity. His bold hairstyles and detailed accessories, like statement sunglasses and rings, complete his eye-catching looks. Vche’s non-conformist fashion choices have inspired collaborations, fashion shows, and editorials, making him a creative muse. Through his fearless attitude and innovative designs, Vche continues to challenge stereotypes and redefine fashion, paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse future.


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A post shared by Vche (@vcheuba)

Adebayo Oke-Lawal

Adebayo Oke-Lawal via Instagram

Adebayo Oke-Lawal, founder and creative director of Orange Culture, is a gender non-conforming fashion icon leading Nigeria’s genderless fashion movement. Starting his design journey at 10, Oke-Lawal launched Orange Culture in 2011, blending Nigerian and African influences with streetwear to challenge traditional fashion norms. His innovative collections blur cultural and gender lines, gaining international acclaim and recognition, including being a semi-finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2014. Despite facing criticism and bullying, Oke-Lawal remains committed to self-expression and has expanded his impact through grants, mentorship programs, and educational initiatives like The Orange Mentorship. With a finance and international business background, he empowers aspiring designers to pursue their creative passions. Oke-Lawal’s influence inspires a new generation to embrace individuality and inclusivity, reshaping Nigeria’s fashion landscape for a more diverse and liberated future.


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A post shared by TheOrangeNerd (@theorangenerd)


“Achieving acceptance based on one’s own convictions has been a journey of resilience and self-discovery for me. Despite the challenges and criticism, I’ve remained dedicated to expressing myself authentically through fashion. My mission is not only to create innovative designs but also to inspire others to embrace their uniqueness and create spaces where individual expression is celebrated.” – Adebayo Oke-Lawal

From Denrele’s flamboyant defiance of gender stereotypes to Fola Francis’ groundbreaking work in genderless fashion, these icons are reshaping the industry. Their courage, like Alexander’s boldly authentic lifestyle, Adebayo’s celebration of fluidity, and Vche Uba’s boundary-pushing designs, creates a more inclusive space.

They are testaments to the power of self-expression. They’ve redefined beauty and inspired countless individuals to embrace their true selves. These gender non-conforming fashion icons are courageous, resilient, and champions of authenticity. Their stories are a call to embrace diversity, inclusivity, and our own unique definitions of beauty. In a world that often demands conformity, let’s find the courage to express ourselves as brightly as these remarkable individuals.


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