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Hi Everyone!!!
How was your weekend? Mine was an absolute blur…to be honest, I’ve been sooo busy that I am just going through the motions at this point but it’s all good!
This week is going to be super busy for me so blogging might suffer…
Pleaaaaase bear with me….U know I luv you guys and will try my very best to blog!
Anyway, thanks sooooo much for all the emails and voicemails…Honestly I am very grateful, I hate to sound cheesy but I feel really blessed!
So, I decided to explore a facet of Nigerian fashion that I have not touched on at all!
What is this you ask?
Millinery – The Art of Hat Making
Nigeria actually has a strong creative arsenal of talent in this area.
This is one aspect of Nigerian fashion that truly fuses the western with the traditional in a very creative way…
Check it out!

Nena Kalu Ogba of Nena Kal Hunter
Nena studied Fashion and Textile Design at De-Montfort University. She then decided to focus on millinery; she built her hat making expertise when she trained with Mrs Rose Cory, a milliner to the late Queen Mother of England.
Nena moved back to Nigeria 5 years ago and has established herself as one of Nigeria’s top milliners. She also has a line of home furnishing and accessories.

Tiwa Kehinde Benson of The Hat Lounge
Tiwa made her first hat when she was just 14 years old; from that point she knew she was destined for a career in fashion. After studying at various prestigious fashion institutions such as Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University College for the Creative Arts at Epsom and the London College of fashion where she specialised in millinery. Tiwa has worked with top London milliners like Phillip Somerville before she moved back to Nigeria.
Tiwa’s hats are known for their mix of modern styles with Victorian influence and have been featured in various major fashion shows.

Chito Mark of Grace Hats
Chito Mark of Grace Hats is one of the pioneering Nigerian milliners. Chito has been in the business for over 20 years and is still inspiring a new generation of hat makers with her innovative designs and fashion flair.

Eme Akenzua of John 3V3 Hats
Eme is the founder and Creative Director of the renowned Couture Millinery outfit JOHN 3V3 HATS LTD. She started her career as a milliner in 1989 while training with Rose Cory the famous milliner of the Queen Mother in London, England. Eme worked with the famous Herbert Johnson, hatters since 1970 to several European Royal Houses located in the prestigious New Bond Street of London. She introduced the famous ‘Fila Oge’ head gear and has been on the cutting edge of hat making ever since. In addition to hats, Eme creates turbans, hair slides and other ‘head’ accessories. She has also inspired many by sharing her personal struggles (to have a child) and her business challenges.

That’s it for today…
Please leave a comment even if hats are not really your thing!
Would you rock any of these and for what occasion or do you think its better left on the catwalk? Let us know….
This post is dedicated to Isabella Blowwho passed away recently and was the most famous international ‘hat wearer’
and Nkiru Anumudu who is most definitely, Nigeria’s No 1 hat patron…

Much Love!

Living & Celebrating the African Dream! Catch all the Scoop on Follow us Twitter: @bellanaija Facebook: @bellanaija Instagram: @bellanaijaonline


  1. Anonymous

    June 26, 2007 at 8:09 am

    wow…dnt tell me im first!yay!!!!!newais luving d hats, would definately rock dem if i have to ..pity i’m nt much of a hat person..but great post bella as always..

  2. Anonymous

    June 26, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Never thought I’ll make it to first 5! This is going to be a good day!! No comments on the hatsa, not a big fan of hats 🙂

  3. dezha

    June 26, 2007 at 8:38 am

    I’m NOT a hat person…well not these kind of hats…

    but, I admire those who make them and those who wear them…it’s so hott to see people just revving things up in naij.

    Isabella Blow was just something else, epitomising eccentricity..

  4. Anonymous

    June 26, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Hats are soooooo last year….

  5. Araceli

    June 26, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Do people still wear hats these days?

  6. Ugo Daniels

    June 26, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Ok, here is goes, are there hats for guys…lawling!!!


    June 26, 2007 at 10:47 am


  8. Abimars

    June 26, 2007 at 10:48 am

    I’m not really a hat person, I think my head is too big Lol and it’ll only draw attention to the size of my head but I do love Tiwa Bensons designs and now I’m tempted

  9. Dimples

    June 26, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Lovely post Bella…but as most people myself…I personally don’t think I’d be caught dead in a had in this day and age besides maybe a graduation hat/cap or something….lol…I thought those feathered head gear clip things had taken over??

    Some of the creations are lovely sha…i’d have to say.

    By the way you forgot “Bimby Lads” owned by Bimbo Sofeso easily one of Nigeria’s foremost milliners(God like 15 years or so sef)…
    she made some of my secondary school’s boater hats…lol…damn i’m old.
    Anyways have a FAB day all!!!

  10. Fairchild

    June 26, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Good post, don’t really wear hats except when in naija (church)… my mum has a thing for them and owns a nice collection thou… we just borrow her’s.

  11. TaureanMinx

    June 26, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Wow I used to wear hats wen I was younger, my mum had a box full of them for us. We were somewhat forced to wear them. Sooooo I don’t like them anymore lol. Its like rebelling.

    Interesting hats though. Quite creative

  12. ~mimi~

    June 26, 2007 at 11:24 am

    nice hats!

    but like tminx said, i was forced to wear them when i was younger.. i dislike them now and besides, my hair is tres fab so why cover..lawling

  13. tatafo!

    June 26, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Nkiru Anmudu passed away recently?
    Wow! what happened? Wasn’t she the one excessive diva and co were raining abuses on?

  14. tatafo!

    June 26, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    my bad i read it wrong it was Isabella Blow who just passed…rip

  15. Anonymous

    June 26, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    bella am trying so hard not to give up on your blogs! what’s happening girl….

  16. Favoured Girl

    June 26, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    The hats look really nice. I’m not a big wearer of hats though. Apart from church, they can only be worn to very formal outings and I don’t do formal that much 🙂

  17. Anonymous

    June 26, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Anyone know where they sell lovely hats in Lagos. As in Name n address of hat shops? Need one badly. Cheers.

  18. Anonymous

    June 26, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Hey Bella chesk out this site, the lady is also a nigerian and she makes hats & jewelery. Her hats were used for the Miss World contest that was moved from naija to London. Her name is Deola but I don’t remember her last name. She is very popular here in London.

  19. Bluntremi

    June 26, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Great post Bella-
    Hats have their uses and their days…

    I would definitely wear them-depending on the event!

  20. Ladybrille

    June 26, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Hats,hats, hats! Where do I begin! lol! We had boxes, bags and more full of hats. I love hats. We wore the ones similar to Nena Kalu Ogba’s. I even had a very close friend whose mom was a hat maker and retailer. I still love hats but do not own the Ogba types anymore. Thanks for the post. Brings back some fun memories.

  21. Uzo

    June 26, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    OOOOH, my very first hat was from Grace’s Hats way back in the day. I have a turban thing from John 3V3 and its so regal. Because of the weddings and events i have attended in Nigeria, i also quite a few of these comb things that might have a bit of net or feathers but ur hair shows – mostly from Elizabeth Badejo.

    I think hats are interesting. I cant wear a lot of the really way out designs but i love seeing them on others…

  22. misstimi

    June 26, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Sorry that you are so stressed oh…u kno I am here for you to help in any way sha. Take it easy on urself k!

    intersting post bella! im not really a hat person but i kno that once i become a MADAM and I can afford them i will…haha
    Nena’s stuff is really cool. I like the edgy yet sexci look of her stuff. I would definately rock those wit the right kinda outfits!
    What are the price ranges for such hats…if i wanted to purchase for say mah mumsi next mothers day? haha

  23. Abi

    June 26, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Nice post bella…welldone for showcasing another side of naija that most of us overlook or didn’t know abt…
    Kudos to all the milliners..
    Not a hat person myself tho’ but to those who are…rawk on! hehe

  24. Dammie

    June 27, 2007 at 5:22 am

    I loooveee hatss. I choose to wear them on appropriate occasions though…not just with every evening gown. Infact, I don’t see myself wearing a hat with an evening gown…but I doo love my hats!! 😀

  25. Adaure

    June 27, 2007 at 7:53 am

    I absolutely love looking at hats andtrying them on — not sure about wearing them out. Can’t remember the last time I wore one. ANywyas I’m not a fan of Nkiru. The eyes have charmed me into loving her fashion style. Bold and daring and in your face like ‘WHAT’!!

  26. Tayo

    June 27, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Well, I’m not so much a “hat” person .. seeing as I don’t wear them. But I like the title of this post. Creative

  27. chacha

    June 27, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    interesting subjects!

  28. Overwhelmed Naija Babe

    June 27, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    great post.. cant say i’m a hat person myself… haven’t worn one in over 8 or 9 years… and doubt i ever will…

    creative stuff though

  29. yankeenaijachick

    June 27, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    longest time l have been on ur blog. The hats are very lovely. Am loving it. How are you doing? I hope you are doing great.

  30. Ijeoma Uche-Okeke

    June 27, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    I’ve always liked Eme’s style, especially the ones that look like ‘gele’. I like the interface of your blog by the way. Nice post too.

  31. Kpakpando

    June 28, 2007 at 12:25 am

    so after I spend serious kudi on my weaves, i’m supposed to cover it up? Tufiakwa, it CAN’T happen.

  32. Idemili

    June 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Kai! Bella, God bless the dayI found your blog girl. All sweeeeeet.

  33. mary

    November 28, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Bella,
    I was really happy seeing these designs. i am a milliner and i aspire to be the best, i was trying to check the web on some designs to task my self with and i came across your page maybe i’ll get to post my work some day.Thanks alot and God bless.

  34. oyioma

    December 9, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    please,i stay in enugu state and am married.can i receive an online training on hat making or a dvd on how to make hats. i make hats buth i do no like the finising of my hats

  35. Ruth

    July 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I loooooooooooooooove Nena Kalu Ogba’s hats, My God !!! I’m not a hat person but I will surely love to get some of her hats. Please, is there a way I can get her contacts? Recently, I heard she appeared in the Royal Ascot Magazine this year. I’m so fascinated by her designs.

  36. Kelewu

    August 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Nigerian hat makers are doing a great job but I agree with Ruth. Nena Kalu Ogba’s hats are on another level. A good friend of mine visited Nigeria last year and ordered six of her hats and I could not believe how neat the finishing was. It stunned me. At a point I had to ask her if those hats were truly made in Nigeria and right now the chic has been featured in Vogue Magazine UK.
    Can you beat that? A Nigerian girl? As I write, I have the magazine here with me. I wonder why stores in the UK and other countries have not hired her to design for them. I see a whole lot of crap at Debenhams and I just wonder.
    Also Ruth, she has a website with all her contacts. I don’t know if I am allowed to share websites on this blog but you can google her name – Nena Kalu Ogba, or google Nena Kal Hunter Hats.

  37. Toyin John

    January 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I need to get in touch with you, please how do I contact you. Thank you. Toyin

  38. Adrienne

    July 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    So interesting that many Nigerian ladies are not wearing hats anymore. I lived in Nigeria in 1983-1984 and that started my interest in hats. I am an amateur milliner. I live in the US and am a Caucasian lady. I love the Nigerian Gele scarfs (not sure I spelled it correctly) and always thought of them as a Nigerian woman’s hat… I love all of the artist you mentioned. Many American ladies are starting to wear all kind of hats. Kate Middleton has really started people over here wearing Fascinators. Love your blog.

  39. KristenSarah

    June 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    These hats are sooo gorgeous!!! Even though its an old post, i still came across it while searching for fascinators. I absolutely loove them!

    @Anonymous if you’re still looking for fascinators or chic hats check out

  40. henrietta

    September 25, 2015 at 7:09 am

    I wanna learn

  41. Kenneth nwokorie

    May 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Pls I need more designs and where to materials here in Nigeria

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