For eight years, AMA Lagos has singularly built a reputation as the premier sartorial destination for the affluent African gentleman. The union of traditional principles and technical mastery that underpins its design aesthetic defines the menswear company’s legacy and subsequent success.
AMA began by providing custom clothing and accessories made from high-end materials and finished to impeccable standards. The brand grew to represent status and style. Afolabi Adekoya, the Founder and CEO, noticed that there was a male audience interested in more sartorially elevated options and that the African man placed a high value on brands that exhibited a client-first approach.
From the beginning, AMA challenged the traditional structures of English tailoring, which had set the standards for menswear (every man should wear black, blue, and grey), offering a brighter palette, innovative fabrics, and sophisticated design. As the brand went from strength to strength, Adekoya kept at the forefront of innovation by investing in new production techniques. Since then, AMA has transformed high-end tailoring and resolves to do the same with ready-to-wear as the brand continues to evolve to cater to the needs of the modern Nigerian consumer.
Today, the brand’s attitude is effortlessly Afrocentric and combines tradition with contemporary craftsmanship. This philosophy is reflected in their collections, with the use of original silhouettes combined with meticulous attention to detail, making AMA a breath of fresh air to Nigerians.
This is even more evident in the campaign for their newest collection, tagged “The Torch Bearer.” Unapologetically full of colour and symbolism, this collection is packed with substance.
Founder and CEO Afolabi Adekoya said he felt the need to create this collection to show the range of products we offer upper middle-class fashion-forward men who love the art of simplistic but innovative fashion. He also explained that he wanted to express his desire to cater to men of all ages, which is apparent in the age diversity of the models.
The Torch Bearer aims to celebrate the power and value of Mentorship provided by the older man while instilling in young men the importance of passing on what they have learned. Furthermore, displaying the company’s growing versatility over the years to produce high-quality formal and semi-formal clothing presents a new and genuine approach to this straightforward yet powerful principle.
The narrative behind the collection is Mentorship. By paving the way for and educating fashion-forward upper-middle-class men to experience what we perceive as innovative but simple fashion or infusing some of my life experiences in mentoring people I work with or work for me. The ability to pass on knowledge to ensure one reaches perfection in their sartorial journey or making sure we mentor an employee till they attain perfection in tailoring, just to mention a few,” shares Adeokoya.
After learning about the lack of male role models in various fields, AMA believes Mentorship schemes and the willingness of more men to pay it forward will help close this gap. If we want to create a society that is competent and skilful, older male mentors are necessary to share their experiences, knowledge, and abilities.
I believe that it is better to give than receive. I mean being able to pass on the knowledge you have learned through blood, sweat, tears, and financial trials for free just so that others might be able to succeed with fewer attempts and achieve their dreams. So I feel it is a blessing.”
Three generations of men, including talented Nollywood actor and businessman Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) and top models Shamz Garuba and Chinedu Johnson, are featured in the new collection deftly merges revamped traditional and stylish contemporary shapes. Younger generations have benefited from watching RMD’s illustrious career unfold. Furthermore, his work has empowered a new generation of young professionals and creatives.
According to AMA, choosing RMD to star in the campaign was a no-brainer.
“Well, who else is better to champion the idea of Mentorship in fashion? A living legend blessed with style and charisma can share the stage with two younger models and aspiring actors,” Adekoya notes. “You don’t want to know the knowledge we all gained from him being on set. He is such a professional, and I mean, how else do you show a level of Mentorship than giving your time and not wanting any form of compensation? The man is simply amazing.”
Addressing how Mentorship has informed his work and shaped his leadership, Adekoya explains,
“The way I see it, we all need Mentorship in any career path or life decision we make; career path, fitness journey, entrepreneurial endeavors, religiosity or fashion just to mention a few. Mentorship sometimes could be the silver lining between good and great.” He adds, “Most of my mentors are actually my family members. For example, I learned two different kinds of leadership from my dad and my father-in-law. They are very different, but both are useful and complement one another. Other mentors would be about 3 of my siblings.”
The collection features a colourful palette of looks ranging from Agbada and Tuxedos to Kaftans, Jalabiyas, French Safari Suits, and Shackets. It is an updated offering of the Founder and creative director’s DNA. There isn’t a hint of rigidity or constriction in the remarkably soft-tailored Safari Suits and Shackets, fashioned from the most luxurious, premium fabrics like rich velvets, dazzling damasks, ultrafine cashmere wool, and high-end linen.
Heavenly to the touch, they’re rendered into smooth and supple shapes yet precise in their modern décontracté sophistication. Details are discreet, brilliantly unassuming, and painstakingly handcrafted.
“We stitch Swarovski buttons to the side to make them more elegant; the lapel of a Tuxedo in the embroidered lining is carefully tailored to achieve the perfect finish,” Adekoya shares.
Reinforcing the brand’s tradition of creative evening wear, AMA presents a series of exceptional pieces, often made with fabrics that symbolize refined masculinity, such as a metallic black Tuxedo with peak lapels. Moreso, a traditional Tuxedo with a notched shawl lapel was created in sensual velvet and satin for the more flamboyant wearer.
Elsewhere, more traditional designs from the collection boast innovative craftsmanship infused with technology, such as digital embroidery stitching and knitting. Tuxedos, Agbadas, and Kaftans were the main items that AMA intended to concentrate on producing for its clientele, but they also “created simple and exciting pieces they haven’t experienced before.”
The collection was a strong testament to the Founder’s affinity for particular hues like blue, ivory, and black. “I liked that we could run some designs on the embroidery machines we just bought,” he stated about the fabric-choosing process and his favorite garment aspects of working with. “Working with the linen materials was enjoyable too.”
Self-confidence is the feeling the brand wants individuals to embody when sporting looks from the collection. “I hope the concepts and designs resonate with our target market. I hope they see that the pieces were created to satisfy certain sartorial needs we feel they have been yearning for, and also they see that our style of fashion, which is simple, confident, innovative and tailored to perfection, is timeless,” says Adekoya.
The Torch Bearer campaign is of great significance for the brand because, as a business operating in a nation with a high unemployment rate (and one that continues to rise), it is the brand’s social responsibility to provide young people as much access to empowering knowledge as possible while also recognizing the selfless leadership and contributions of the older generation.
About AMA Lagos:
Durability. Craftsmanship. Distinction. These principles are not achieved overnight. With seven years under its belt, AMA is a reputable brand whose clothing strength is interwoven with Nigeria’s history and culture. AMA bespoke clothing has been the standard for the discerning gentleman looking to make his mark.
With the increasing desire for authenticity among young Nigerians in Nigeria and the diaspora, the brand has evolved to include a core range of seasonal ready-to-wear fashion. For more information, please visit www.amalagos.ng and follow @ama_lagos.