Africa Magic and MultiChoice have unveiled top Nigerian fashion designers, Lanre DaSilva Ajayi of Lanre DaSilva Ajayi, Mai Atafo of ATAFO and Adebayo Oke-Lawal of Orange Culture, as coaches for the AMVCAs ‘Design For The Stars’ competition.

These designers will work with the competition finalists, mentoring and sharing valuable insights with them as they prepare to showcase their designs at the first-ever AMVCAs Runway Show, scheduled to take place on Sunday, 8 May 2022.

Known for her chic designs that incorporate metallic fabrics, lace and African patterns while referencing the 1800s and 1940s, Lanre DaSilva Ajayi launched her eponymous label in 2005 and has presented her collections locally and in major fashion capitals globally.

Mai Atafo is a fashion designer and bespoke tailor whose fashion brand, ATAFO, specializes in bespoke menswear, and womenswear alongside bridal and evening couture. The dynamic brand is also known for its stylish approach to traditional Nigerian wear, a testament to Mai’s deep connection to his heritage and his own roots.

Bayo Oke-Lawal made his official runway debut at Lagos Fashion Week; Design Week 2011 and it has been up from there. His brand, Orange Culture has achieved international recognition and has been featured in prestigious publications such as Vogue (US, UK, ITALY), WWD, BoF, L’Uomo Vogue, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Marie Claire, L’Officiel,, The Guardian, The New York Times amongst others.

Speaking on the competition as part of the activities for the eighth edition of the AMVCAs, Oke-Lawal said,

Fashion is a huge part of the AMVCAs, and it’s also a huge part of the mark that the AMVCA leaves even beyond the awards show. I think it’s incredible that the AMVCA has seen that and is giving back to the fashion industry that has been an imprint for the show over the years.

Atafo added:

The AMVCAs red carpet is the biggest red carpet on the continent. Giving young designers a chance to be a part of that is a huge opportunity.

Ajayi echoed a similar sentiment:

When you think of AMVCA, you think of spotlight, camera, light and action, so what better way to tell the fashion story? I think it’s an amazing opportunity for young designers to showcase the best of what they have.

Ajayi, Atafo and Oke-Lawal, all internationally acclaimed designers, will bring their wealth of experience, collectively spanning decades, to the table as they take on their new roles as coaches. The finalists will be under their guidance for a period of two weeks leading up to the runway show.

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