Folake Folarin-Coker is the founder of Tiffany Amber, a world-famous iconic label whose journey began in Lagos in 1998. Born in Lagos, she did her schooling in Europe (England, Scotland and Switzerland), where she got an opportunity to interact and engage with various cultures while still at a young age. Interestingly, she has a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Law from Switzerland, but as fate would have it, her insatiable passion for fashion led her into fashion design. Her curiosity for cultures steered her love and interest to focus on unique fashion designs that appeal to women of various tastes and preferences.
Folake’s tasteful and colorful creations have earned her global recognition, making her the first African fashion designer to showcase her talent at the New York Mercedes Fashion Week two years in a row. She has also been widely featured by International media houses such as CNN, and in 2013, she received an Enterprise Award at WIE (Women, Inspiration and Enterprise) Symposium. In addition, she has made it onto the Forbes Power Women in Africa list.
She has been instrumental in making the Nigerian fashion industry shine.
“Now, Nigerian fashion has a personality of its own. There are so many amazing designers in Nigeria doing such great things. If you mention a designer, someone would likely know who you were talking about. Ten years ago, that wasn’t the case. Lagos was more of a tailoring city back then as opposed to the designing city it has become,” Folarin-Coker said.
London-based, Nigerian born, Duro Olowu, shares both Nigerian and Jamaican roots and is a household name in both the Nigerian and global fashion industry. He is, undoubtedly, a well-respected Nigerian fashion design personality, famous for his unique and colorful African prints. He’s super talented in working with patterns, and his designs incorporate the rich culture, spirit, and diversity of the Nigerian people.
His interest in fashion began when he was only six years old and went on throughout his childhood. Olowu’s talent has earned him global fame and recognition with top clients to his name such as Michelle Obama, Solange Knowles, Uma Thurman, and Linda Evangelista, among others.
Despite being a lawyer by profession, fashion was Olowu’s first love. During his career, he has bagged numerous awards further raising his profile in the global fashion industry. In 2005, he was the first designer to be named New Designer of the Year at London Fashion Week without staging a catwalk show.
At the African Fashion Awards in 2009, he was named the Best International Designer and was one of the six nominees for the Swiss Textile Federation’s top prize of 100,000 Euros. Both British and American Vogue in 2005 named his waist patchwork “Duro,” as the “Dress of the Year.” One of Olowu’s famous quotes is, “My job is not dictating to women what they should wear; it is presenting them with beautiful options.”[NewsNaira]
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