In Africa’s fashion capital, Lagos, ‘trad is swag’

In Africa’s fashion capital, Lagos, ‘trad is swag’

- in Fashion
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Leggy dancers in tight shorts, bottles of Moet champagne, and flashy cars feature in Nigerian pop icon Wizkid’s bling-bling track videos.

But the singer himself has now swapped the Versace T-shirts and coffee-slung denim that display his undies for classic African dress — a new kids fashion in style hub Lagos.

Last yr, Vogue voted Wizkid “Nigeria’s first-rate-dressed pop singer,” a particularly coveted and prestigious name in a country wherein appearance is all crucial, and the opposition is fierce.

Clothing that used to be taken into consideration simplest for the antique or for people out in the provinces is placing the trend in fashion, from the Yoruba agbada, a massive, triple-layered gown worn in the southwest, to the Igbo “Niger Delta” embroidered collarless shirt from the south, and the northern Hausa baba ruga, a protracted tunic worn with an embroidered asymmetrical hat.

In the latest years, this traditional apparel — or “trade” because it’s dubbed — may be seen in places of work in addition to nightclubs and at weddings and commercial enterprise meetings.

“It’s the in-issue now,” Wizkid instructed Vogue mag.

“When I’m back domestic, all I wear is African fabric. I get fabric from one of the kind parts of Nigeria — north, west, south — and I mix it up,” said the 26-yr-vintage celebrity.


Lack of area in Lagos, a sprawling megacity of 20 million, has meant few shopping centers, and equipped-to-put-on garb stores are tough to locate.

Economic recession and the naira forex’s unfastened fall has placed pay to wealthy Nigerians’ purchasing sprees in Dubai, Paris, and Milan.

Instead, they’ve needed to make do with what’s on offer regionally, sending the recognition of roadside tailors hovering.

– ‘Trad is swag’ –

In 2012, Omobolaji Ademosu, referred to as B.J., left his job in a bank to installation his personal line of men’s apparel, Pro7ven.

In two tiny workshops in Ojodu, on the outskirts of Lagos, his dozen employees cut, sew, and iron a chain of orders to the sound of a diesel generator.

B.J. Calls his style “African cutting-edge.”

His paintings include wonderful made-to-measure agbada with embroidered collars that could sell for as much as 150,000 nairas ($475, 420 euros) each.

“Trad is swag,” smiled B.J.

“Any day, I can transfer from Yoruba to Igbo to Fulani; I’m rocking it! It’s the Lagos spirit; there may be no barrier; we are one.”

When attending expert meetings in enterprise and politics, dressing inside your host’s ethnic outfit is an indication of admiration that can honestly reply — or at the least win massive contracts.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s election marketing campaign in 2015, for example, featured him in a variety of traditional outfits from throughout the u. S. A…

With more than 500 ethnic corporations, Nigeria can draw from a large catalog of fabrics, styles, and jewelry.

Every ethnic look’s splendor is a source of pride, which has started to increase beyond Nigeria’s borders.

In early May, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, a spokesman for South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters party, posted an image of himself on Instagram, wearing a darkish “Niger Delta” outfit, whole with the wide-brimmed hat and gemstone necklace.

His severe and enthusiastic girl fans were short of remarking with emoji hearts, affectionately calling him “Igwe” — an Igbo prince.

– Retained ‘African satisfaction’ –

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