October ended with Lagos Fashion Week (LFW) celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Presented by Heineken, the biannual event that showcases the collections of African designers to the world took place October 27–30 at the Federal Place Hotel in the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria. “I am honored to celebrate this 10-year milestone of Lagos Fashion Week and reflect on the work we’ve done and what it means for African fashion globally,” said Omoyemi Akerele, who founded the event in 2011. She is also the founder and artistic director of Style House Files, a creative development agency for Nigerian and African designers. "The future of fashion for decades to come is being created now," she added. "It begins with a community who supports the rising talents springing up across the continent and a deep commitment from our ecosystem to adopt a functional fashion system that delivers environmental, societal, and economic solutions that are beneficial for all.” The theme of this year’s show, #TheFutureStartsNow, spoke to that sentiment by promoting the need for the international fashion industry to conserve the environment and to value people over profit.
Over the years, LFW has developed initiatives to help make that happen. One of them is
the Green Access Competition. The talent discovery platform encourages designers to produce environmentally sustainable fashion. Contestants attend workshops that teach sustainable design practices, and the top finalists are commissioned to design a collection that will be showcased on the Lagos Fashion Week runway. The 2021 finalists included Femi Ajose, the founder and creative director of Cute-Saint; Desirée Iyama, the founder and creative director of Desirée Iyama; Funke Asinobi-Ola, the co-founder of FIA; Oyindamola Aleshinloye, the founder and creative director of Kadiju; Gift Olohije, the founder and creative director of Lohije; and Fatima Lagundoye, the founder and creative director of Y’wandeLag. They now have the coveted chance to follow in the footsteps of internationally known designers such as Lisa Folawiyo, Maki Oh, Kenneth Ize, and Hanifa, all of whom have presented their collections at LFW.
Below are nine designers who rocked the 2021 LFW runway.