OG Okonkwo, fashion designer and the BellaStylista behind much loved brand Style Temple shared an important message for the designer community in Nigeria, based on an epiphany she had on her current trip to Turkey:


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Highlighting the trials the average designer has to face operating on the continent, and in Nigeria specifically, the designer said on her Instagram:

Dear Nigerian Fashion Designer,
You are the shit!!!
Yes I said that…
Yesterday I needed to experiment with a drape idea I had been toying with and I needed a dress form.
So I called Someone who took me to buy one …I got to the store and realised it was a whole street filled with dress forms and mannequins of every imaginable shape and size .
I was spoilt for Choice.

Then it hit me.

If I was in Nigeria , with this exact same problem I would’ve searched and searched ….then they would’ve said , “oh there’s this store in lagos” then the store would’ve said “give us 3 weeks ma”
And this is just a Dressform which is to fashion designing what’s air means to us …it’s just there for breathing….readily available and we never really acknowledge it .

But despite the non existent resources, despite everything working against us…heck you can’t even find the most mundane things as different sizes of machine needles in our local markets ….yet we creating magic out of nothing.

Try buying fabrics for those amazing designs you’ve just designed …uncle vendor in Wuse market will say “50 yards Dey come on Monday “.
So you go ahead and buy the meagre 10 yards of fabric available, and create the amazing piece and even go ahead to shoot the lookbook .
Image is up on Instagram …I knew it! They like it! Orders are rolling in…God is finally answering your prayers, by the time You fill all these orders you’d have met your target for the month.
So You race to the market …and alas dear vendor says “e never come ….but you can choose any other ones .
The fabric was never coming …. now You have to go on ig and write “sold out “? then start convincing those that placed the orders to try another print ….of course many won’t…they liked and want what they already saw….
Oh…then try making a wedding dress…. the offerings are a joke really….very limited options of white laces and when you do find them prices are cut throat …but you can’t even blame the vendors this time …everything is imported, they have to pay duties… could go on and on…..
Rant over! But In summary ,I don’t care what anyone says.Any Nigerian fashion designer is an absolute Star!’

We completely agree!

Follow OG Okonkwo on Instagram