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.