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Nigerian Designers Embrace Androgyny In Lagos Fashion Week

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Lagos Fashion week is a yearly event that seeks to “leads the way with initiatives that support, strengthens and develop the fashion industry,” in Nigeria, and Lagos Fashion Week has global attendance.In a country that nationwide punishes homosexuals with imprisonment, in its northern counties with being stoned to death, and as recently as 2019 their spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command warned “Any persons that are homosexually orientated should leave Nigeria or risk facing prosecution” in an Instagram post, it’s easy to assume that the gender binary is strongly built into Nigerian fashion design.But fashion is a both a conversation and a conversation starter, and there are designers that are pushing that discussion forward, by envisioning and creating androgynous looks, bringing their work to showcase in an event that also featured—for the first time ever—a Nigerian trans woman, Fola Francis, walking the runway for two (other) designers, Cute Saint and Fruché.BlokeBased in Lagos, Bloke was founded by Faith Oluwajimi.

With a collection named “A Polaroid Named Camouflage,” these knit silhouettes, some inscribed with the brand name,  were inspired by Oluwajimi’s travels, where he, “…visited about six to seven countries, and the translated color palette for the collection was from some of the flags of these countries I visited,” he told Attitude.    OshoborPeter ‘Dawn’ Oshobor founded this androgynous brand, presenting a three-piece collection called “Na Man You Be,” a colloquial way of saying “You’re A Man,” as a reflection of the impact of fathers on their sons’ lives. “Fathers are the models of masculinity for sons.

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