The Elegushi of Ikate kingdom, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Kusenla 111, has advised government to support the growth of the fashion industry so as to end the economic recession .
Oba Elegushi said this during the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) 2017 held at the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, over the weekend.
The traditional ruler was represented by Mr Anofiu Elegushi, the acting Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation.
“I enjoin the three tiers of government to partner fashion promoters such as the organisers of the Africa Fashion week.
“This will be highly advantageous in jump starting our economy currently in recession,’’ he said.
According to him, most developed countries earn their major revenues from the patronage of their fashion industry by internationally acclaimed superstars, royal families and distinguished personalities.
He said that when the government and the public supported the fashion industry; they would be supporting the growth of the entertainment industry, indirectly.
The traditional ruler added that this would also create employment opportunities for many unemployed people and increase revenue to government through taxation.
“ I can say that the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2017 is a great advocate in launching creativity of African and Nigerian fashions,’’ he said.
Also, Ronke Ademiluyi; the founder of AFWN said that the event, the fourth in Nigeria, was unique because it was used to project the African s culture in its grandeur and splendour.
“After three successful years of having the show at Eko Hotels and Suites, we decided to host this year’s show at the National Theatre, in Iganmu, Lagos.
“The National Theatre, inaugurated 40 years ago, when Nigeria hosted the second Black and the African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77), remains the true icon of our African heritage,” she said.
She said that the idea was to promote and showcase the African culture and heritage to a global audience, by displaying African and Nigerian fabrics in various designs and styles.
Ademiluyi said that the long-term growth of the fashion industry was grounded in developing initiatives that would ensure that it remained at the forefront of creativity, centre of fashion, style and innovation.
“This year’s AFWN is unique as we have 56 designers and 40 exhibitors selected from various parts of Nigeria and the African continent, displaying their talents and brands in the two-day catwalk show.
“AFWN launched the first Iconic Catwalk Show in Nigeria at the National Arts Theatre on April 1 and on April 2 at The Tinubu Square on Lagos Island.
“ We believe that for creativity to grow; there is the need for a platform that supports and promotes its growth.
“In exploring the multifaceted achievement of African fashion globally, the adoption of African fabric and designers’ creativeness is an undeniable testament of the untapped potentials as a catalyst for economic development,” she said.
One of the models in the catwalk, Ms Joy Ejiro, also the 2016 Best Model Nigeria winner in Istanbul, Turkey, said Nigerian fabrics were getting international acceptance.
“Nigerian fabrics have really gone far and wide; made-in-Nigeria designs are going internationally, we need more support and promotion from our home government and the organized private sector,” she said.
NAN reports that some of the fashion designers that displayed their products are: Reverse, (handmade bags, suits), Zainab Bridals, Lamzie from Owerri, Simply Sleek and Women in Nigeria designs, also known as “Oleku’’.
Others include: Modella, Kola Kuddus, Maufechi, Regalia by FAL, Blingshiki, Zizi Cardow, Marobuk, Tash by Tasha, Linda Ngwi (Cameroun) Sally Bawa and Alex Akande (Cameroon).