Lagos Fashion Week Returns to the Runway… but in a New Way

After a pandemic-induced break, the annual Lagos Fashion Week is back! However, while there would be physical runway shows to celebrate the creations of designers from all over the continent, this year’s event will embrace global trends the pandemic has steered us towards while exploring possible future concepts.

Poster for Lagos Fashion Week 2021
Lagos Fashion Week 2021 is here! Image courtesy of LFW

So, what hasn’t changed? Well, the event is set to take place from the 27th to the 30th of October at the Lagos Fashion Week Tents, Federal Palace Hotel, while the Fashion Business Series – a platform designed to facilitate conversations with key stakeholders in the industry – will officially kickstart the event. But those are all the familiar parts you can expect to see at this year’s edition which will feature newer programs and processes.

For starters, the event will embrace a hybrid model with digital shows highlighting rising talents from across Africa and featuring a distinct exhibition of the selected designers’ collections. The Fashion Business Series will also hold digitally on October 27 with a diverse array of speakers including Aissa Dione, Busayo Olupaona, Chid Liberty, George Gachara, Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, Mariama Camara and Roberta Annan, amongst others.

Laureen Kouassi-Olsson of Birimian
Laureen Kouassi-Olsson of Birimian will be speaking at the Fashion Business Series. Image courtesy of Fashion United

Even its theme is an encapsulation of what LFW hopes to be going forward. Dubbed #TheFutureStartsNow, it speaks to the need for a global fashion industry that preserves and conserves the environment and values people over profit. In line with this theme, the event will showcase a community of new talents springing up across the continent, as well as a commitment from our ecosystem to adopt a functional fashion system that delivers environmental, societal and economic solutions that are beneficial for all.

Sharing their thoughts on the theme as well as what we should come to expect, nine designers from past LFW editions have interpreted it as anything from [the] smart production/consumption, sustainability, innovation and technology” (Omafume Niemogha of PepperRow) to an inclusion “in the metaverse … a confluence of physical and virtual fashion.” (Edwin Okolo of Studio IMO)

Models and the founder of Studio IMO in knitwear from the brand
Edwin Okolo of Studio IMO believes the future of fashion, which is the theme LFW 2021 has adopted, is in the metaverse. Image courtesy of Demola Mako

The 2021 LFW will also incorporate a Swap Shop experience in Lagos which will take place from the 28th-30th of October. In collaboration with Fru Girls and PopSwap, this digitally-enabled event will put into practice the foundations of a circular economy that prioritizes reuse, reduce & recycling through the exchange of pre-owned items through swapping, sharing, donating and resale.

The Heineken Lagos Fashion Week 2021 is supported by Heineken, Style House Files, Lush Hair, Advantage Austria Nigeria, OPPO & Nigerian Export Promotion Council. For more information visit their website or follow their Instagram page.

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