Nigeria is a country of extremely well-dressed people, so well-dressed in fact that putting together a list such as this takes a lot of thought. I decided to narrow it down to people who wowed me on a daily, people who wake up in the morning, plant their feet on the floor beside their beds and set forth to slay every sartorial rule. People who in short make me take a second look every single time I see them.
As an avid style watcher I’m constantly on the look-out for great style. Anybody can afford fashion; it is trend in its most general form, but true style, the type that transcends even when you’re wearing the exact same thing as the next person is as elusive as it is valuable. That is why you can see a group of students in a school uniform, identikit outfits, but one or two might stand out; it might be in the way they tuck their shirt in or a certain rakish air they have lent to their enforced uniformity, a certain way their socks are rolled that sets them apart from the multitude. Everybody else can tell they’re different but nobody…not even themselves can pinpoint exactly why.
That, my people…..is style.
You might be thinking, surely this list is not exhaustive, in a country of 150,000,000 there must be a few more people than the 8 I have listed here that warm the cockles of my fashionable heart but I kid you not, I could not think of a single one.
First up is Lisa Folawiyo, creative director of uber fashion label Jewel By Lisa.
Going by the gorgeous creations churned out by the House of Jewel By Lisa you don’t need to be told that someone with unusual sartorial flair is behind it.
Seeing Lisa in her daily outfits though cements her style star status. Lisa Folawiyo is possibly my strongest contender for most fashionable woman in Nigeria. Her style is not typical, she is on trend and yet marching to the beat of her own stylish drum all at the same time.
From shoes to jewelery to accessories, every item she dons gives me life.
Ashley Madekwe is best known as a scheming socialite in hit US tv show; Revenge and the reformed tart with a heart on British show; Secret Diary of a Call Girl. She is however carving a niche for herself as an international style star.
She has run a personal style blog called ‘Ring My Bell’ for years but it was only after cracking the US on Revenge that her fashion cred began to rise. Ashley is the epitome of simplistic chic, never overdone, always just right.
Her brand of super stylish minimalism evokes the laid back yet fashionable looks of Jackie Onassis and Audrey Hepburn in the 60s.
Eku Edewor is a tv presenter on Studio 53, an actress, a model and a seriously stylish personality.
Eku Edewor has a very similar look to Ashley Madekwe’s, in that they favour simple clean lines, nothing too fussy all delivered with class and subdued flair.
Never overdressed, never underdressed, always just right.
Queen Mother Nkiru Anumudu is the biggest risk taker in Nigerian fashion.
Her style is so uniquely her own it cannot be duplicated. Her outfits are ripped directly from international runways and put together with her customary dash and whimsy.
She is probably the closest representation of the over the top, super stylish ways of international street style star Anna Dello Russo. With an enviable wardrobe and serious fashion cojones we salute this Queen of the Avante-Garde.
Ene Maya Lawani
Ene Maya Lawani is a former Miss Nigeria and contender-in-training for the throne of Nkiru Anumudu.
Ene is a risk taker as well and never plays it safe. The street is her runway and her outfits are her armour.
Mai Atafo is the designer behind label Mai Atafo.
As a suit-maker to the stars it stands to reason that he would look as at home in a suit as he would in a tee and shorts.
Mai Atafo is at the peak of mens fashion in Nigeria, pioneering the new generation Savile Row type tailoring in Nigeria.
Adebayo Oke-Lawal is the designer behind cult label ‘Orange Culture’.
Being at the helm of one of the most respected and fashionable young labels in the industry it stands to reason that Adebayo would be an able representative of his brand.
Always impeccably turned out, Adebayo combines trend pieces with the unconventional, creating outfits that are alternative yet highly wearable.
Terence Sambo is a photographer and foremost mens fashion and style aficionado.
The Lagosian turned Londoner is known for his hip-hop infused/eccentric/vintage-inspired/all round fabulous outfits.
As a respected fashion blogger he has serious style cred and never disappoints.
Anyone you think should have been on this list?
Photo credits: Instagram (@lisafolawiyo, @theorangenerd), onobello.com, bellanaija.co, onenigerianboy.com, fashionbombdaily.com.
Shout out to the following people who helped with insight when I was putting this list together:
@designerkath, @happyBBB, @TweenyTee, @ZinnieP, @bigchicanita, @OmogeMuRa, @oforiking0242, @_ChechiArinze, @Gorgeousbskin, @eneni, @Miss_Jayla, @omooziegbe, @prettyJules1, @Dov3li, @TheShoeShopAbuja, @OnyinyeFafiObi, @OGaggs, @Chaud_TheMag, @wild_hearts, @cassie_davies.