Fashion is one very critical feature of society. Every community, state or nation has a fashion culture that is peculiar to itself. People love to dress good, and to ensure that they patronize only the best fashion designers that they can afford.
The landscape of the fashion industry in Nigeria has undergone subtle changes over the last few decades. Part of these changes has seen the proliferation of male fashion designers into the sector, which was formerly dominated by females. In fact, up until recently, the term ‘fashion design’ in Nigeria was almost synonymous with women folk!
Male fashion designers have not only gained entry into the industry, but are now beginning to take over. This post highlights the top ten male fashion designers in Nigeria. They are ranked based on popularity, style, and their relative impact in the fashion industry.
From the tenth on the list, here goes:
#10. The Okunoren Twins
The Okunoren Twins are the brains behind the fashion label ‘Okunoren’. Taiwo and Kehinde Okunoren belong to the elite class of male fashion designers in Nigeria. Their most distinguishing feature is their perfection in the art of making bespoke suits for men. There are only a few people in Nigeria who make better suits than the Okunoren twins.
They founded ‘Okunoren’ in the year 2002, and in 2007 they were nominated for the Future Awards category for Entrepreneur of the Year. They have also showcased their works at different shows and on different platforms within and outside the country. Their clientele includes top entertainment and sports icons like Austin Okocha, Don Jazzy and many others, who patronize them for their expertise.
If the Okunoren Twins are beginning to dominate the fashion sphere with their suits and corporate apparel, then Deco is fast becoming a force to reckon with when it comes to male traditional wears. In previous years, male traditional wears were not as appealing and good-looking as they are today, and Deco is rightly credited as one of the brains behind that evolution. Though still relatively ‘young’ in the industry, he has carved a niche for himself by redefining the outline and patterns of male traditional attires, particularly ‘Àgbádás’. Before now, only the elderly folks really had an inclination for Àgbádá, due to the archaic style of sewing and the nature of the material used. But Deco came on the scene and made it even more appealing to young folks.
Today, it appears that young people are even more inclined towards wearing Àgbádá, thanks to the contributions of Deco and a few others in the industry.
#8. Frank Oshodi
He is the founder and CEO of House of Bunor. Though he started his fashion career as a model for top fashion houses, he eventually established his own fashion house. After styling former Miss World, Agbani Darego, he was shot into limelight after she won the beauty pageant donning his hand-crafted designs and fabrics.
Frank Oshodi specializes in making evening wears, as well as bridal gowns. Asides being a fashion designer, he is also a renowned makeup artist.
#7. Kola Kuddus
Kola Kuddus is another outstanding fashion designer. He is the founder and CEO of Kola Kuddus Couture. He studied Philosophy at the University of Lagos, before proceeding to study Fashion in the United Kingdom. He specializes in classic and casual wears, and his clients include ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nollywood star Kunle Afolayan, and a few others.
#6. Yomi Makun
Yomi Makun is the founder of Yomi Casual. He is also the younger brother of popular showbiz personality, Ayo Makun. He is known for producing simple and sophisticated classic and native attires for a wide variety of clients. He is one of those who have redefined the use of traditional attires in Nigeria.
#5. Yemi Osunkoya
Not many people have successfully carved a niche for themselves in the bridal gown section of the fashion industry like Yemi Osunkoya has. He founded the Kosiboh fashion label in 1991, specializing in bridal gowns. Since inception, he has also expanded his scope to include traditional, corporate and casual outfits. His clientele consists of former Miss World Agbani Darego, Indra Ove, and many others. He has also won numerous awards within and outside Nigeria
#4. Anthony Soares
He is the founder of ‘Soares Anthony’, an award-winning fashion label. He specializes in making African fabrics into classic attires for both young and old. Perhaps his most distinguishing feature is his use of Japanese sewing methods in making his attires.
Like many of his contemporaries, he regularly styles for popular Nigerians within and outside the country. He has also won numerous awards for his contributions to the industry, and he regularly trains fashion prospects on how to enhance their skills and reputation in the industry.
#3. Clement Mudiaga
He is the founder of Popular fashion label, Mudi Africa. He ranks alongside Deco and a few others as the brains behind the evolution of the male traditional attire. He is one of the best fashion designers ever to emerge from Nigeria. His fashion label, Mudi Africa operates on an international scale, as he has established branches in several other African countries.
His years of experience in the field, coupled with his versatility in designing Nigerian and African traditional wears, makes him one of the most sought-after male designers. His clients’ list consists of top politicians and entertainment stars, like ex-Ghanaian President John Kuffour, veteran Nollywood actor RMD, talk-show host Frank Edoho (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire), Fred Amata, and many other big names.
He’s a strong contender for the title of Africa’s King of Traditional Attires.
#2. Ade Bakare
Ade Bakare would easily rank as the undisputed king of bridal gowns. He has vast experience working in the fashion industry in several nations, including France, the United States and the United Kingdom. He has also won many awards for his ingenuity in the fashion industry, and his customer-base consists of many top customers all over the world.
#1. Ohimai Atafo
He is one of the most phenomenal fashion designers in the country; little wonder he tops our list of the top ten male fashion designers. He started his full-time career as a fashion designer in 2010. He has since founded ‘Mai Atafo Inspired’ and ‘Weddings by Mai’. He regularly designs and makes dresses for several top Nollywood stars, and he also does wedding attires for both males and females.
He has won numerous awards, and is a mentor to many upcoming fashion designers in the country.