For African immigrants, finding African influences in food, fashion and other cultural aspects in the diaspora can be a very difficult task, a situation that is not replicated in most African countries. A good number are trying to change this narrative wherever they find themselves, like Damilola Salu of OSalu Couture who recently teamed up with retailer, Ethnic Attitude, to showcase an Afrocentric fashion collection at the recently-concluded 2023 Network of Fashion Spring/Summer Fashion Show in Dubai.
Designed by Damilola herself, the collection featured bold, vibrant prints and colours ubiquitous on the African continent. The clothes, which ranged from long, flowing gowns in tie and dye prints to casual brightly-coloured two-piece sets hit the runway alongside eclectic, afro-themed streetwear from Ethnic Attitude in a collaborative effort that proved that African fashion can be very much at home anywhere in the world as it is on the continent.
Guests at the event included fashion industry experts such as French fashion entrepreneur Eva Louves, fashion trends specialist Jessica Duarte, actress Aohod Al Nowais, TV presenter Lara Thabet, African media producer The Lady Mayowa, investor Abdulla Salem, and fashion stylist Bandar Algarmoushi.
Speaking at the event, OSalu Couture Founder, Damilola Salu, expressed her excitement saying, “I was thrilled to showcase my latest designs at the Network of Fashion Show alongside Ethnic Attitude. It was an incredible experience to see our unique vision come to life on the runway and to witness the audience’s positive reaction. I am pleased to showcase my work alongside other talented designers and to celebrate the beauty of diversity in fashion.”
Ethnic Attitude Founder, Oloyede Oyebanjo Ariyo, was just as ecstatic. “Our latest streetwear collection celebrates the richness and diversity of African culture in a trendy and modern look that any global citizen will love,” he stated. “We created a range that is both stylish and meaningful, with designs that reflect beauty and heritage. I am very pleased by the results of our collaboration with OSalu Couture. I believe we did the continent of Africa proud.”
Both the OSalu Couture and Ethnic Attitude brands started their design journey in the bustling city of Lagos, Nigeria, and later established their global headquarters in Dubai, UAE. Since then, they have expanded their international reach and continue inspiring and empowering individuals to embrace their cultural identity.
The collections received high praise from fashion critics and enthusiasts present, with many applauding the brands’ unique and innovative approach to fashion, as well as their commitment to sustainability and ethical fashion practices especially in their use of locally sourced materials and the brand’s dedication to supporting local artisans and craftsmen.