BoF lists three Nigerian women as part of the people shaping the fashion industry 2019
The Business of Fashion has recognized three Nigerian women as part of the 500 people shaping the fashion industry 2019. The women are Betty Irabor, Reni Folawiyo and Omoyemi Akerele.
The BoF was founded in 2007 as a project aiming to fill the void for an informed, analytical and opinionated point of view on the fashion business.
According to the BoF website, the Nigerian women were hand-selected by their editors based on hundreds of nominations received from current BoF 500 members, extensive data analysis and research.
The publisher founded Genevieve magazine in 2003 at the age of 45 after spotting a gap in the Nigerian publishing landscape, and has shaped the magazine into a lifestyle guide and inspiration to women.
The magazine is now one of the most read lifestyle, fashion and beauty magazines in Nigeria.
In 2005, Irabor launched the Genevieve Foundation, which holds an annual Pink Ball as a fundraiser for breast cancer victims. She also hosted and presented a talk show “Life’s Lessons with Betty Irabor,” which aired on LindaIkejiTV in December 2017. She was honoured by the Association of Professional Women Bankers as the Most Accomplished Female Publisher in Nigeria in 2011.
Akerele is the founder and artistic director of Style House Files, a creative development agency for Nigerian and African designers. She is widely regarded as a driving force behind Nigeria’s burgeoning fashion industry.
Style House Files works with Nigerian brands on image, creative direction, brand positioning and retail strategies. Akerele also helps brands gain essential international exposure through showcases at Pitti Immagine in Italy, and through Lagos Fashion and Design Week.
She founded LFDW in 2011, a four-day event which features up-and-coming designers and fashion entrepreneurs. The show has been instrumental in raising the profile of the Nigerian fashion industry, and has drawn international attention and acclaim from journalists such as Suzy Menkes and Cristina Manfredi, as well as attracting a host of international buyers.
Reni Folawiyo is the founder of Alara, a concept store that seeks to redefine luxury fashion for Nigerians. Meaning “wondrous performer” in Yoruba, Alara is rapidly becoming a fashion destination for Nigerians and Westerners alike. It offers a mix of fashion, art and design in a similar style to famous concept stores like Paris’ Colette, London’s Dover Street Market and Milan’s 10 Corso Como.
It stocks a range of Western designers including Stella McCartney , Dries Van Noten , Marni and Valentino. Alongside this, Folawiyo looks to champion Nigerian design, stocking the work of Maki Oh, Lanre de Silva Ajayi and Tiffany Amber. Alara has the potential to be a beacon for other fashion retailers and a centre for gravity for global luxury brands already beginning to cluster around a nascent fashion district in Lagos.