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Vogue Celebrates Nigerian Ankara



It seems like everywhere we turn its ankara, ankara & even more ANKARA.

In Nigeria, it appears that an ankara bomb has exploded! At Weddings, engagements, work, play – For instance, Lagosians are fully garbed in this fabric and loving it! On the runways, ankara was previously limited to collections from Jewel by Lisa and Tae. Now JD7 Couture, Zebra, Tiffany Amber, Odio Mimonet and other many designers are being inspired and creating pieces using this ‘IT’ fabric.

Spreading the net wider, you don’t need to look too far to spot the widespread appeal of the colourful and versatile fabric. Granted other African countries such as Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin Republic and Togo have had a long history of using ankara but now the demand seems frantic. Textile companies such as Vlisco & Woodin are now investing more heavily in promoting their wares than ever before.

Well, the world is watching! Recent collections from various international designers have featured ankara and other African influences. Below is an article by Funmi Odulate which appeared in the February 2009 edition of British Vogue, it explores the cultural history of ankara in Nigeria and its emergence as the fabric of the moment.

Article Source: British Vogue
Funmi Odulate is a fashion journalist and author of ‘Shopping For Vintage’


  1. Adee

    February 17, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Nice article. It is interesting how much is taken for granted that is good in our culture, until the west says it’s good, it becomes in Vogue.

    The only comment I have on the language is the use of ‘illiterates’ and ‘housegirl’ seem …otherwise well written article.

  2. Qed

    February 17, 2009 at 3:05 am

    the thing is when ppl write about africa or nigeria there’s no really one to correct the misconceptions they make….the ankara yes nigerian/african and its good “back again” or in vogue….but it really didnt anywhere funmi (i guess she’s a lagos gal)…a good research is well rounded and covers all views even if it doesnt agree….ok my point the rich and poor in the north never stopped wearing ankara

  3. xoliquoricexo

    February 17, 2009 at 3:51 am

    LOVE duro olowu’s comments.

  4. Anuoluwa

    February 17, 2009 at 6:21 am

    ???WHAT exactly are you trying to say?your comment makes no sense.

  5. lola

    February 17, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    This is a nicely written piece but I think it would have had more accurate information if it were written by someone who has more recent experience with ankara in Nigeria or if more research was done on what people living in Nigeria think about this “Ankara Revolution”. The words ‘housegirl’ and ‘illiterates’ rubbed me the wrong way too.

  6. emi

    February 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    why are some people always so angry ???

  7. Mary

    February 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    As a well travelled Nigerian, I know that Ankara(Print) has always being in fashion in most parts of Nigerian except Lagos where it was adopted in recent years. I have in the past attended events years ago in other major parts of Nigeria where it was and continues to be used as aso ebi

  8. mindyours

    February 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Ankara is Definately NOT nigerian only, its all of West Africa – Ghana, Ivory coast, senegal etc. They should get their facts straight.

  9. Elle Woods

    February 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    why are folks getting mad about the use of illiterates and housegirl?

  10. Sugabelly

    February 19, 2009 at 1:09 am

    There’s nothing wrong with the word ‘housegirl’ because the truth is that in Nigeria, domestic servants are called housegirls, houseboys, drivers, etc.

    The truth is also that in Nigeria, housegirls and houseboys do frequently wear Ankara, probably more so than their employers who tend to wear Lace and other more expensive fabrics.

    The assumption however that before its current trendiness Ankara was only relegated to the domestic staff and illiterates in incorrect. Yes domestic staff wore Ankara more than most, but in general it has always been worn by Nigerians of all strata of society.

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  12. Jewo

    July 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Ugg!! This writer is such a snob! This is why many people are upset!

  13. fatty

    August 1, 2010 at 11:32 am

    its true,ankara has always been part of fashion in northern Nigeria because its light and comfortable and goes well with the weather.However ankara is worn in a more trendy and stylishh way than before. it seems everyone is conscious of fashion now

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  15. s.b ankara special

    November 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Ankara is a very gud africa fabric.Some pple dont no d value of what they hav ontill they lose it..Wear ur home made buy made in africa it 100% natura
    ( S.B ankara special we’ar so proud of ankara we sing about it we also use ankara as our costume to no more about us visit http://www.reverbnation/ or cal us on dis no 08181931400)

  16. Ankara is indeed a good fabric, talkin of its durability(if its original),multipurpose use,and the fact that it has the largest export in africa as far as fabrics re concerned. That why we came up wit d event ANKARA MUSIC FESTIVAL, its aimed at encouragin africans home and abroad embrace what is indigenous to us in areas of fashion,our fabric(ankara),traditional music and local crafts and arts..for more info , , .support this course its our heritage gbam#

  17. Abisola Oropo

    July 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Its so amazing how Ankara has been widely accepted in today’s fashion world, I ve an Ankara brand called OGE , we ve them in two variants, Trendy by OGE and Classy by OGE, OGE is out to uphold the African beauty uniquely.

  18. Dawn

    November 8, 2012 at 7:56 am

    what the hell is the history of ankaraaaaaaa???

  19. Bella

    November 8, 2012 at 7:58 am

    where did ankara start from all these are stories ooooohhhhhhhhh

  20. Chuma

    May 21, 2013 at 12:06 am

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