Fashion is art, and I dare say that Africa has one of the largest clusters of artistic geniuses across the globe.
In Nigeria, the fashion industry boasts a market value of about $4.7 billion and is fast becoming one of the world’s prime suppliers of elite creatives.
With brands such as Maki Oh, Orange Culture, Mai Atafo, and a host of other indigenous designers making names for themselves in the international fashion scene, it is only a matter of time before Nigerian designers take the lead globally.
In Africa, Nigeria is the center of attention for the creative arts. With captivating designs that do not just depict our beautiful culture, but also tell our story — Nigerian brands bring color to Africa’s fashion industry.
One of such brands is Deji Eniola, a Lagos-based menswear sartorial label famous for its well tailored suits and safari jackets collections.
Deji Eniola was created in 2011 by former fashion editor/stylist turned designer, Ayodeji Osinulu, who saw the need to bridge the aesthetic gap in the men’s wear section of Nigeria’s fashion industry. With a degree in Geology from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ayodeji was not part of the few that always knew they would go into fashion and style design— for him, this was a passion he figured out later in his life.
In an interview with Connect Nigeria, Ayodeji recounts his journey into the fashion world. He started out as a design intern for Ifeoma Williams, owner of Fruition Image Consultancy, where he learnt the principles of design and the expression of the art. He then proceeded to work as a style correspondent with Bella Naija and as a fashion writer and stylist with Complete Fashion Magazine, where he made the decision to do menswear.
Hard work, they say, eventually pays off, and this was the case for Ayodeji whose brand soon gained the recognition of Africa’s biggest runway show.
In 2015, Ayodeji received his first call to the Lagos Fashion and Design Week, where Deji Eniola showcased its ‘Afropolitan Dandy’ collection — inspired by the need for sufficient cultural representation of Africa in the diaspora.
This event brought the brand to the fore of African fashion, and ever since, Ayodeji has remained focused on making Deji Eniola a global sensation.