It’s Day 2 of Lagos Fashion Week and ahead of the whirlwind schedule, we chatted with 5 fashion industry professionals in varying parts of the value chain – from fashion media & PR to retail and asked them this question – How can designers, brands and influencers leverage fashion week commercially and creatively to ensure they make the best of the most high profile event on the fashion calendar?

Check out their answers below!

Busola Babatunde, Moda Operandi

In my experience emerging designers/brands can leverage fashion week commercially by partnering with established brands that currently cater to their target market. During Lagos Fashion Week emerging brands/designers partner with member houses, art galleries, restaurants etc. to host creative forums, networking events and even pop up shops. When you’re strategic about the brands that you work with, these partnerships can the perfect blend of fashion x art, fashion x music or fashion x food, and it’s a great way to expose your brand to a new audience during fashion week.

Latasha Ngwube, About That Curvy Life

As a body positivity advocate and fashion editor, Lagos Fashion Week is multi-layered for me. Not only do I get to meet and connect with my audience, show off curvy style on the runway and with street style. I also believe that Lagos fashion week is a crucial opportunity for both established and up and coming designers, brands and influencers that is often left untapped. It’s a chance to connect, network and really have your finger on the pulse of the industry in Nigeria, and arguably on the continent. I think this is really ‘shoot your shot‘ season, strike up conversations in an organic way; network with your peers and find ways to collaborate and  of course – don’t forget to have fun with it!

Ijeoma Balogun, Redrick PR

Content is the new brand currency, and fashion week creates an opportunity to curate awesome content to an engaged audience. For brands, if the Fashion week audience is in alignment with your target  – then  sourcing the right influencers and team to curate content is crucial, and further amplifying that digitally through owned and paid platforms. For influencers what’s important is standing out from the crowd – creating content that resonates and differentiates itself and gets you recognized – create an identity for your content.

Lola Emeruwa, Wish Africa/LE Retail

They must have their saleable business elements ready for Lagos Fashion Week; for designers this is their linesheets, for brands/influencers ideas for partnership. They must be very singular about identifying and targeting the people who can take their business to the next level. LFW is a fantastic platform that has provided all of the tools and personnel to help brands and designers excel. It is just for the brands and designers to grab them.

Nisha Kanabar, Industrie Africa

Lagos Fashion Week is more than just an opportunity to parade seasonal collections—it is an important platform that gathers both talent and stakeholders, offering them the tools to collaborate and hold conversations that shape the narrative of the fashion industry. For African designers, who are faced with increased challenges of distribution and visibility, this is an especially important commercial opportunity. From meetings with buyers and retailers, to using the event as a platform for creative synergy, fashion weeks are an important touchpoint of storytelling for brands. For newer, emerging designers, it is also the chance to differentiate themselves amongst their peers as well as create seasonal structure to their production and fashion cycle—showcasing their collections to the world with the finesse that they would on an international stage.

Check out our Lagos Fashion Week Hub for all #BNSHLFW18 content!