Watch “Beyond Trade” – The Austrian Lace Nigerian Fashion Documentary

Model for Tiffany Amber at the Austrian Lace Fashion Show 2011

During every special occasion in most parts of Nigeria, lace plays a prominent role in the dress code.
This illustrates how deeply embedded lace has become in our Nigerian cultural heritage.
One of the most popular types of lace in Nigeria is Austrian Lace.
Though the name “Austrian Lace” seems self-explanatory, there is so much more to this story than meets the eye.

The relationship between the Austrian lace manufacturers and the Nigerian consumers goes beyond buying and selling. There is one active Austrian Lace factory in Nigeria now though at some point there were dozens of factories in Nigeria. Unfortunately, changes in regulations, high running cost and several other factors led them to shut down. In addition, it is great to note that a significant number of female Nigerian entrepreneurs have developed their businesses through the lace trade.

This documentary produced for the Austrian Embroidery Association with the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy by pioneer fashion stylist/TV producer Bola Balogun of Glam Networks tells the remarkable story.

Read the official press release for the documentary;

What originally started in 2009 as an initiative to document the history of Lace – especially Austrian Lace in Nigeria, by the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna, has since developed into a cooperation project merging culture, trade and fashion. The Austrian Embroidery Association in collaboration with the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy, recently celebrated history, culture, fashion and trade relationship between Austria and Nigeria for the last 50 years in Nigeria.

In a documentary produced and directed by Bola Balogun for Glam Networks, the Austrian Embroidery Association with the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy, take us on a journey that spans the last (5) five decades – building, strengthening, promoting and celebrating Nigeria through what we have come to know and love as ‘African Lace’. The documentary tells a brief story of the Austrian – Nigerian lace trade from inception – the manufacturers’ first foray into Nigeria in search of new business opportunities, to the close ties that have been formed with some of these ‘lace ladies’ who have passed the trade on to their next generation. It tells us how Austrian /Nigerian relationship has grown beyond trade into culture with the ‘aso – ebi’ phenomenon and gradually, into fashion through the recent collaboration between the Austrian Embroidery Association and four Nigerian designers – Folake Folarin-Coker for Tiffany Amber, Ituen Basi, Frank Osodi for House of Bunor Creazioni and Godwin Mekwuye of Vivid Imagination.

This documentary shows the dedication and commitment of the Austrian Embroidery Association to a market they have come to know and love; and have become so passionate about that they have decided to contribute to the growth and development of the Nigerian fashion industry through non stop collaborations with fashion designers in the Industry.

Watch the documentary below and watch out for BN Red Carpet Fab from the recent Austrian Lace fashion show which took place in Lagos.

19 Comments on Watch “Beyond Trade” – The Austrian Lace Nigerian Fashion Documentary
  • KK June 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Ddnt even know laces had names 🙂

  • Naira June 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    xxxx its mona lisa

  • Designer June 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    My name is Damilola (BA,IMBA,CAA,CCPA,PHD,PDP) i’m the creative director at Ijebu Dolce & Gabbana…we put holes in our laces and that’s our competitive advantage…

    Love the Documentary !

  • tite June 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    i think lace is just trying to meet up with Ankara on modern day fashion.

  • Susan June 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    this is what is Nigerian and naijas shoold brag about and NOT ANKARA – u cant always claim everything that does not belong to you. Ankara was pioneered and worn by only Ivorians, Sierra Leoneans, Togolease, Senegalse and Ghanaians until recently where everybody is trying to claim it (esp naijas). Lace and Ashoke is your thing so be proud it.

    • Teniola June 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      When did naijas claim ankara?? Everyone knows that ankara is widely worn by most people in West Africa.

      • THE AMAKA June 1, 2011 at 11:36 pm

        THANK YOU!

    • BigBen June 2, 2011 at 12:58 am

      Don’t let me konk you…:P And you came to bellaNAIJA to yarn this nonsense…West Africa was the hub for Ankara and of the West African countries, Nigerians are the ones who wear it the most…so whats with this your unnecessary beef/envy/[insert -ves here]…instead of you to go and figure out how your country can build an economy from this trade, you are shouting about who wore it first, na you make am??…isi gini? me cho nu there…stupendous intete…(u are making me unleash some naijaness here)…

    • boluji June 2, 2011 at 9:45 am


  • Me girl June 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Pls BN get the pictures of the event for us

  • haha June 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    why do people fell they have to put title to their name. anyway good documentary.

    • oyinkan June 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      maybe because they WANT TO!!!!! why do you have haha as your name??????????? smh

  • vera June 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I love the presenter’s top! This is an informative piece of film. While I admire the ingenuity of these entrepreneurs, I felt a bit saddened by our perpetual consumerism . For such an in-demand product, you’d think economic policy makers would draw up commonsense regulations to ensure Nigeria could fully benefit from lower production costs and even become a great exporter!

  • Olivia June 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    @ Vera, Exactly my POV too. We should be thinking of taking advantage of the economies of scale and create more jobs with this. I was often worried by our consumerism in the past but the positive spin on that is we at least have a great internal market. Just like the Americans, we can take advantage of it and build an economy that is somewhat insulated from some challenges of external market barriers…Please Jonathan give us Light o!!!! Naija in 5yrs with constant electricity will be a jewel…the opportunities that beckon!

  • Kaza June 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I think Nigeria should also among those pioneers you have mentioned, except if you want to exempt northern part of Nigeria from Nigeria. Ankara has always been worn by the women in the north as far as I know. What about the Igbo women, they used to wear two piece of the ankara material as the bottom of their outfit. Lace and aso-oke were generally mostly worn by the Yoruba women.

  • Ola June 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Tolly Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!! Adeniran Ogunsanya!!!!!!!! Mummy Balogun, good evening ma!

  • Ola June 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    That’s Bolaji A’s voice.

  • sagita June 2, 2011 at 12:31 am

    This cultural crap is to the advantage of Nigeria or Austria. Most of so called elites are so far gone that they are proud that their children understand english more than their mother tongue

  • NNENNE June 2, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    @ kaza: I think the Igbos and other southerners wore Hollandais as their bottom part not Ankra. Ankra looses its color fast and was not taken seriously untill later.People only wore them for casuals and not for special occassions because they did not last, although they were cheap.

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