Travel » New York, Milan, Paris… Lagos?
New York, Milan, Paris… Lagos?
Maki Oh’s designer, Amaka Osakwe

New York, Milan, Paris… Lagos?

Why the Nigerian city may just be the next fashion capital.

In recent years, oil-rich Nigeria has fostered a design community—not to mention a fashion week in its commercial capital, Lagos—that is steadily gaining recognition on the global style map. But according to Amaka Osakwe, the designer behind the four-year-old label Maki Oh, known for its skillful combination of traditional African techniques and modern, elegant silhouettes, Nigeria has always been a nation of fashion nuts. Here are a few of Osakwe’s favorite things in Lagos.

Music and bookstore: The Jazzhole. The owner, Kunle Tejuoso, hung out with all the Afrobeat greats and consequently has the best stuff.

Boutique: Stranger. This new men’s shop carries labels like Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons and is the first of its kind in Nigeria.

Marketplace: Oba Elegushi Arts and Crafts Market. You can get everything here, from fruits and vegetables to jewelry and handmade bags.

Gallery: Nike Art Gallery. It shows contemporary African artists like the painter Rom Isichei. Nike Davies Okundaye, the gallery owner, is a huge supporter of adire, a fabric hand-dyeing technique that’s slowly fading away. Upstairs she has a little museum devoted to ancient Nigerian fabrics.

Artist: J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere. His photographs of West African thread hairstyles, which were on view in this year’s Venice Biennale, were a big inspiration for my fall collection.

After hours: The New Afrika Shrine. Rich and poor come here to enjoy the music.

Looking forward to: Alára. Designed by the architect David Adjaye, this store is opening in March 2014 with a selection of contemporary African design—including my own pieces.

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