Studio 189’s show on the catwalk during last week’s Lagos Fashion Week. LFW
Lagos Fashion Week has announced a 500 million naira ($1.2 million) relief grant to support 30 Nigerian fashion brands, part of a larger government program to ease the impact of Covid-19 on Nigerian businesses while also increasing the country’s export capacity.
“Fundraising for designers on the continent can be an arduous task,” said Omoyemi Akerele, founder of Lagos Fashion Week, which wrapped its latest edition Oct. 30. “Traditional lending models have stringent requirements, and most brands are not necessarily ready to go down the equity route. I believe the Export Expansion Facility grant facilitated by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council [NEPC] will help strengthen the selected beneficiaries’ access to market strategy for the next season,” she added.
According to Akerele, the beneficiaries of the grant, whose names have not yet been made public, have been selected from an existing pool of designers that have been jointly presented by Style House Files and NEPC at Trade Shows across the world in the last six years under the “Lagos Fashion Week Presents” umbrella.
“These brands have been consistent with solidifying their retail footprint in key cities and digital destinations across the world. The aim of the grant is to increase access to the global market for these brands,” said Olusegun Awolowo, executive director and CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
Lagos Fashion Week also partnered with Fru Girls and PopSwap, a new digital community that hosted the inaugural block-chained enabled “Swap Shop” experience, which saw pieces from designers like Emmy Kasbit and Nigerian celebrities swapped during the event.
As Lagos Fashion Week kicks off, founder Omoyemi Akerele looks back at ten years of shows and reveals how Nigeria’s flagship fashion event could adopt a pan-African strategy in the decade ahead.