PH Fashion Week 2023: Spotlighting Indigenous Designers
By Yemisi Suleiman
The oil-rich city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State is set to play host to designers, fashion enthusiasts, and personalities from around the continent, as this year’s edition of Port Harcourt Fashion Week, PHFW, is set to hold.
Established in 2019 with the aim of empowering and showcasing entrepreneurs in the fashion industry within the region, the event is also aimed at providing a springboard that will enhance trade, and create network opportunities for creatives in the region and beyond. The annual event continues to serve as a meaningful platform to celebrate the people, culture and heritage, thereby ensuring growth and sustainability of the industry.
As the event sets to hold September 15th and 16th in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Allure spotlights the Convener of the Port Harcourt Fashion Week, Ngozi Anyiam, a former model and Director of Wave Model Management, and some homegrown designers who would be showcasing at the show.
1. NGOZI ANYIAM—-Convener, Port Harcourt Fashion Week
Ngozi Anyiam is the convener of Port Harcourt Fashion Week and the Director of Wave Model Management, a foremost model agency based in Port Harcourt. A veteran of the fashion industry, Ngozi was a model for over seven years and had the opportunity to participate in high-profile fashion events, both at home and abroad. She has also graced the covers of fashion magazines, and national newspapers and has also featured in international and local channels like CNN, MTV Base, and Spice Fashion Channel. In 2011, she was the Nigerian delegate to Top Model of the World which took place in Germany.
Ngozi also worked for Legendary Gold Ltd., a leading fashion promotion company in Lagos, for over two years. Her Experience as a model and booker aided her in establishing what is today known as the foremost model agency in the South-South and South-East of Nigeria. Her eye for detail, creative flair, and background knowledge of the business is second to none, and it is one of the secrets of her success in any event she handles.
Her Vision is to create captivating and unforgettable fashion experiences that inspire and empower individuals while pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation in the fashion industry. As the producer of the biggest fashion event in the South-South and South East, Ngozi strives to curate exceptional runway shows that showcase diverse perspectives, celebrate artistic expressions, and foster meaningful connections between designers, models, and audiences. Through her commitment to excellence, trend-setting designs, and seamless execution, Ngozi aims to elevate the Fashion Week experience in Port Harcourt to new heights, leaving a lasting impact on the industry and society as a whole.
(Dressed by ZalimaGrazioni)
2. DORIS GAM-DEDE
Doris Gam Dede is the CEO and Creative Director of Jazz Effect. Established in 2008, her designs express the fusion of fine art and fashion; creating a mixed bag of drawing, installation, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and fashion.
A graduate of Visual Art from the University of Port Harcourt, Doris Gam Dede has always been a key player in the creative industry space since her graduation from the University in 2002. This flare for creativity spurred her to host her first exhibition in 2004 tagged, “Celebration of Womanhood.” The success of this event gave birth to Jazz Effect, which has grown over the years to become one of Port Harcourt’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands. Her label includes menswear, womenswear, and children’s wear.
With a business lifespan of over 13 years and a certification from the Nigerian Fashion Training Institute, Port Harcourt, Doris Gam Dede began Jazzeffect Fashion School in 2008 and has trained over 250 women in the span of 10 years, including the training and rehabilitation of the Niger Delta Militants in the amnesty program of the Federal Government. This incumbent president of the Port Harcourt Female Designers Association is a force to reckon with in the Port Harcourt fashion industry. She has also shown her designs on runways around the world including the USA, South Africa, London, and Germany.
In recognition of her hard work and drive for excellence, she has won many awards locally and internationally including; the Native and Vogue International Fashion Show, Port Harcourt 2010; Designer of the Year Lavente Marche 2013, Garden City Fashion Awards 2015; Winner, Best Designer Rivers 2016; Winner, Designer of the Year Outstanding Woman in Fashion 2020 amongst others.
3. Chike Mordi, Creative Director Zalima Grazioni
Renowned couture designer, Chike Mordi prides himself on creating clothes that are sophisticated, yet unique and unexpected. Known for his sleek sensual style and masterful use of colors, Chike’s award-winning designs have been lauded as timeless pieces that celebrate the strength and femininity of African women. With his professional label, ZhalimaGrazioni, Chike shows that his artistry is based on combining elegance with unstructured fluidity.
The native of Aniocha in Delta State holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Benin. In 2007 he established ZhalimaGrazioni and won the Best Designer of the Port Harcourt Fashion Show in that same year. Soon, his designs became the uncontested must-haves in the city and his fame began to spread abroad. His clothes are like butterfly wings, beautiful and free, and with ZalimaGrazioni’s position statement of “…clothing you in royal simplicity,” Chike aspires to build a large fashion conglomerate for various markets in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.
4. Boma Nyengiwari Ogidigben
Boma Ogidigben, the Creative Director behind the label, House of Boma Ogidigben, BO, studied Human Physiology at the University of Port Harcourt. Upon graduation, she went ahead to learn the seamstress trade because of her undying love for fashion.
House of BO is an award-winning contemporary fashion and lifestyle brand, which prides itself in designing haute couture garments for various A-list celebrities like Juliet Ibrahim, Mercy Johnson Okojie, Nini, and Nancy Isime, just to mention a few.
The brand opened its doors officially on October 1, 2013, to meet the demands for unique, different, classy, and elegant clothing, that will make women feel good about themselves and boost their self-esteem while making a fashion statement.
Boma said she saw the need to grow young and aspiring fashion designers and that gave birth to House of Bo Fashion and Design School in 2015, “In House of Bo we don’t only design garments, we design lives” she says.
5. Akpos Okudu of the Akpos Okudu brand
As the Founder/ Creative Director of the Akpos Okudu brand,
Akpos Okudu Nwokekoro has been a force to reckon with in the fashion landscape in Nigeria for over 15 years. Since she launched her label in 2009, the brand has left an indelible mark in the fashion scene in Port Harcourt, as one of the pioneers of ready-to-wear.
Under Akpos’s direction, the brand has gained national and international recognition with her showcase on various runways both at home and abroad.
Her label has been a staple at the African Fashion Week London for over three years. She was named “Designer of the Year 2022” by Fashion City Awards, nominated by the Future Awards (2011 & 2022) and MTN (2011) for the “Young Designer of the Year ward”.
As a wife and mother of three amazing children, legacy is important to her. She is passionate about inspiring the next generation of fashion designers, and has gone on to train and mentor over 100 young designers over the years.
She describes her clothes as feminine, functional pieces which have been worn by celebrities, authors, titans of industry and more.
6.Justice Chinedu of Tice Grandiose
Justice Frank is the Creative Director and Head Designer of Tice Grandiose, a brand born due to the thirst for eccentricity and the autonomy of Personality.
Tice Grandiose is an eccentric luxury, unisex fashion brand for individuals who have chosen to stand out and blossom while at it. The brand is famous for its choice of fabrics, hand sewn embellishments and structural patterns of its Looks.
Studio: Timeless Image Studio, Port Harcourt.
Stylists: Urban Ese Styling Co.
Makeup Artist: MzWeezy