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KOIBIRD EXPLORES LAGOS FASHION WEEK

For the SS20 season, KOIBIRD visited Lagos Fashion Week. Following our sartorial forays through California and Korea, we were drawn to Africa’s fashion capital to explore the continent’s best designers.

Words by Helen Jennings at Nataal


All eyes are on Africa now as the most exhilarating fashion landscape. From Accra to Johannesburg and from Nairobi to Marrakech, burgeoning creative scenes are giving rise to a new generation of artists and designers. What makes many of them stand out is the way that they draw on their heritage to offer fresh yet authentic aesthetics. Not only that but they are also naturally wedded to sustainability by elevating traditional textiles and supporting artisan communities.

Lagos, as Nigeria’s cultural megatropolis, has become one of the epicentres driving this movement forward. So last October KOIBIRD went to Lagos Fashion Week to meet the designers who showcase at the prestigious event. Needless to say the team was blown away by the powerful collections on show.

“These brands draw on their heritage to offer fresh yet authentic aesthetics, they are also naturally wedded to sustainability by elevating traditional textiles and supporting artisan communities.”

“It’s been exciting to participate in this important moment in African fashion and to learn about the immense talent at its forefront. We found that sustainability and a slow fashion model is one that most designers employ naturally. And we fell in love with brands from a number of countries who take inspiration from their culture to create unique contemporary aesthetics,” says KOIBIRD founder and creative director Belma Gaudio.

“The collections were all so fresh that it was hard to choose which brands to bring back to the UK,” she continues. “We opted for Kenneth Ize, who counts Naomi Campbell as a fan, and Lisa Folawiyo, who makes luxuriously embellished womenswear. Neither could we resist Loza Maléombho’s fierce tailoring or the cerebral designs of LVMH Award winner Thebe Magugu.”

Also in the edit – much of which is exclusive to KOIBIRD in the UK - you’ll find statement jewellery from Ami Doshi Shah, Kikoromeo’s tie-dye jumpsuits and floaty silk trousers by Anyango Mpinga - all from Kenya. From Ghana, we have AAKS’ hand-woven bags, Christie Brown’s embroidered dresses and beach-ready looks by CFDA Award winners Studio One Eighty Nine. Two favourites from South Africa are MaXhosa Africa’s graphic knitwear and Rich Mnisi’s androgynous silhouettes. And from Nigeria, KOIBIRD has selected the colourful flamboyance of Orange Culture, the youthful chic of Clan and the grown up sensibilities of Ejiro Amos Tafiri.

Exclusive to KOIBIRD

MaXhosa Africa

Photography Annelise Phillips
Styling Naomi Miller
Models Precious Mbatha and Courtney Hickson

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KOIBIRD also offers contemporary African homewares such as Baba Tree’s woven baskets, Rodney Band’s wooden bowls and Sidai Designs’ beaded bottles. And it wouldn’t be a true KOIBIRD edit without some of our perennial swimwear and vacation favourites including Chufy and Hunza G.

All of these colourful delights come together at the KOIBIRD store, which has just undergone its latest transformation. The exterior and interior feature a graphic monochromatic design inspired by an exhibition in Dakar by Senegalese artist, Babacar Mbodj Niang. 

We will be hosting some intimate in-store events in the coming weeks, and partnering with Nataal - the global media brand celebrating African fashion, arts and music – to bring a greater taste of the continent’s culture to our customers on THE BIRDWORD, too. So please join us for KOIBIRD’s Lagos Fashion Week season.

Some of the key looks now feature in KOIBIRD’s campaign story shot by sought after Nigerian photographer Ruth Ossai and styled by Julia Sarr Jamois, fashion editor at large for British Vogue.

Photography by Ruth Ossai
Art Direction by Ben Robertson
Styling by Julia Sarr Jamois at CLM
Model Bibi Abdulkadir at Storm
Hair Isaac Poleon
Make-up Athena Paginton

Baba Tree

Kenneth Ize

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