Out of Africa
Lagos may not be a traditionally fashionable city, but that's set to change with a celebration of Nigerian design at Selfridges
Add a new and exciting fashion capital to add to the traditional list: London, Paris, Milan – and now Lagos. After visiting the city's Fashion & Design Week shows in October, a team of buyers from Selfridges has selected the cream of Nigerian talent from the event and brought them into the store for Ndani (or “inside”), a month-long pop-up shop of fashion, accessories and homewares from the established and rising stars of Nigeria's design scene.
"We've taken note of the development of the fashion scene over there for the past couple of years," says Judd Crane, the store's director of womenswear, "and have been thinking of bringing it to London for a while – it was just a matter of time. With a strong resurgence of prints, patterns, bold colours and Africana in the recent collections from more established international brands, it felt right this year to demonstrate the power and originality of fashion from Africa."
Spring 2013 collections by five key designers from the country sit alongside newer names, the winners of scouting competitions during Lagos Fashion Week, each bright, vibrant and fresh-feeling – perfect pick-me-ups for dark days and low temperatures, as well as ideal gifts for those preoccupied with cool-hunting and tracking down trends before others get to them.
"There's beautiful craftsmanship evident in every piece, and an element of familiarity in some of the cuts and styles," Crane adds, "while the approach to the use of fabric, pattern, colour and embellishments will surprise."
Lagos is one of the 10 fastest economically developing cities in the world – this pop-up is proof that, while the names may be new and the designs pack a punch, the industry there is hot on the heels of the fashion world at large, and no longer a poor relation.
Ndani is open until 2 January at Selfridges, London W1
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