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BellaNaija Style visits NDANI – the Nigerian Fashion Project at Selfridges in London | “Mirror Me” Fashion Blogger Fisayo Longe gives us all the Style Scoop!



Ndani, the Nigerian fashion project/pop-up store at one of the world’s leading luxury department stores, Selfridges in the heart of London is the trending fashion story of the moment! BellaNaija Style just had to get all the scoop and photos just for you. Fabulous Mirror Me –  fashion blogger, Fisayo Longe shares her experience at Ndani, exclusively on BN!

My initial reaction to the news of the Ndani space at Selfridges followed this emotional sequence: shock, excitement and then anxiety. Shock because it is an unprecedented move, ”are you serious, is this really happening?!”; excitement because this could pave the way to a new era in Nigeria’s fashion industry, ”like Nigerian designers could totally start running the show if they played their cards right!”; and anxiety as I wondered whether this would be enough, ”hey don’t get ahead of yourself, this could be a one-hit wonder”.

The Ndani popup store at Selfridges was conceptualized and developed by Omoyemi Akerele of StyleHouseFiles (the same creative development agency behind the Lagos Fashion & Design Week) in collaboration with Guaranty Trust Bank and Selfridges. Ndani at Selfridges showcases the best Spring/Summer 2013 pieces handpicked from the runways of Lagos Fashion and Design week which attracted fashion elite from around the globe. It focuses on five well-established Nigerian designers, some of which have come to be household names: Tiffany Amber whose first fashion show I attended when I was nine years old; Jewel by Lisa whose designs I covet because of the intricate placement of embellishment to the best quality of African fabric; Odio Mimonet whose genius use of lace I admire; Lanre Da Silva Ajayi whose Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 collection I bookmarked on my computer as I thought it really did master sophistication in the coolest way with the perfect edge; and Eki Orleans whose designs are a great reference for the mixed print and pattern trend. Also featured in the space are Agu, House of Silk, DOT Handbags and Ituen Basi.

On Saturday, I went to visit the Ndani space.

ASOS Shirt and Jacket, Zara Trousers, Maison Martin Margiela for H&M Clutch, Versace Shoes

There could not have been a better location for the Ndani space! Oxford Street being London’s most popular attraction and Selfridges being one of the best department stores in the world. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, thousands of people shop on Oxford Street and Selfridges in particular everyday. Everyone looks forward to seeing the exterior window displays of Selfridges. As soon as I saw that the Ndani Space had it’s own window, that was one box ticked for me.

The display window is idealistically African with the use of orange, print and drums, but not overtly so. It is relevant to the season with the gift-wrapped boxes and Christmas trees. Many-a-passerby stopped to take in the beauty of display and take pictures of it.

After taking in the display, I went in. A little less anxious, more confident and very excited for what lay in store.

Above, the gorgeous Ituen Basi dolls. Nigerian Barbie? Yes please!

The painstakingly beautiful Jewel by Lisa beaded clutch bags. The retail price of £435 might seem rather steep until you see and hold the bags in person, realizing how much time and effort must have gone into creating each clutch.

The styling of the mannequins could have been much better. The pieces are pretty separates but together, they did not attract much-needed attention from shoppers with no prior knowledge of any of these Nigerian designers. The mannequins have a huge role to play here as it is the first impression, this should be improved.

There were two pieces I couldn’t help but try on: a silk crop top by Jewel By Lisa retailing for £535 and a beautifully cut skirt, also Jewel By Lisa and a dress by Tiffany Amber, retailing for £1,100.

Matching diverse prints from the same colour palette to beautifully complement each other.

It was hard to leave behind this perfect Tiffany Amber dress, the sartorial elegance of it was undeniable.

Throughout the entire collection, it was great to see the seasons biggest trends such as ornate embellishment, Oxblood and print on print playing a role but not ubiquitously so.

I have read and heard complaints about the prices of the clothing at the Ndani Space. However, it is important to remember that these designers are to Nigeria what Prada is to Italy. Dropping the prices just for momentary success at the Ndani Space would be a shot in the foot- this is couture. The target market is not young fashion obsessed people without the resources to afford the clothing. As it is in Nigeria, it is targeted at the elite. As these designers will be relatively unknown to many foreigners, I do think that there could have been more effective marketing as the space which exists from 1st December to January 2nd might go unnoticed by some of the target market. However, I get the impression that more important than huge sales to the Ndani Project is making an impression and putting their names out there, in order to pave the way for future relevance in the international fashion industry.

As with the recent emergence of the Nigerian music industry on the international scene, I believe that the Nigerian fashion industry is headed in the same direction. The Ndani Space is a good first attempt and this is not the last we are going to hear of collaborations of this nature. If the cards are played right, it could become the norm to walk past Nigerian high fashion spaces in Selfridges on a Saturday afternoon. That would be simply amazing!

Photography: Fisayo Longe of Mirror Me and Regina Akingbade of Reine Roi
The inspiration behind fast-growing fashion and lifestyle blog, Mirror Me is Fisayo Longe. In under a year, Fisayo established herself as a foremost Nigerian fashion blogger in the UK. Fisayo draws her inspiration from countries she has visited in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East in her passion for exploring the world beyond her shores. Find out more on


  1. Mimi

    December 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

    okay ooo seen!! but i have seen better stuff
    #1.was a feature of one Ghanaian designer like that(can’t seem to remember the name f the label tho) by BN

    • nems

      December 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Come on guys let us support our own, the Nigerian fashion industry is relatively a baby compared to most countries and we are making great strides. How many African countries are doing this??? The Ndani project is doing a great job, proud to be Nigerian!

    • Jo

      December 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Everyone’s definition of “better” is subjective. It might not be a fact. Someone might have the nerve to say Nadia Buari is a better actress than Nse Ikpe. Personal preference abi?
      Now, it does not matter whose better or not. What matters is that these people are getting worldwide recognition for their craft. I hope you’re making an impact besides posting ignorant – on Bella..

  2. Low

    December 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

    The £435 clutch is by Jewel by Lisa, not DOT.

    • praise

      December 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      The brand is JBL, the clutch itself is DOT. Fisayo Longe KNOWS that and everyone else, except you.

    • Low

      December 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Really? Because another design house, DOT, is also featured in this exhibition.

    • adelegirl

      December 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Wow Praise, you are so virulent in your comments. If you are this way in cyberspace I shudder to think how you’ll be in real life. Your comments, responses have been quite aggressive. Take a deep breath and relax. Life isn’t so hard you know…

  3. Ameena

    December 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Nice one…

  4. Sandra

    December 11, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Prada to Italy, are you kidding me? You are a fashion blogger, so you know the quality of the fabrics and materials used in couture. Nigerian Designers do not even come close to that. Not even close. So, to charge such outrageous amounts for ankara I can buy at Tejuosho, or Lace my aunty sells at Gutter in Isale Eko reeks of exploitation and greed. Nigeria is an economy where the largest percentage of thsoe that can afford it have questionable sources of wealth. Sorry to say. So of course anyone can charge what they want. There was a post on BN about hotels in Lagos being one of the most expensive in the world. Examining the services they offer, they cant justify that price. For the same price a hotel in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia will give you so much much more. (I am well travelled, so I know what I am saying). The same analogy applies to these Nigerian designers. Things are over priced in Nigeria simple and short, and the crowd that shop at Selfridges are not deceived. If anyone slags me off, and says I cant afford it that’s why. Sorry to burst your bubble, I actually can. That silk top and that skirt Fisayo was wearing, retaling for £535, is ridiculousness on another level. Anyone walk into Selfridges and go look at items from Western designers retailing for that same price and examine the quality and detailing. A fool and his money are easily parted. I will gladly support the Nigerian Fashion industry when they are in tune with reality.

    • sassycassie

      December 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      hear hear

    • Ady

      December 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Well said Sandra! It’s vice versa some Nigerians come here buy Primark and sell it so expensive.. We need to be reasonable most times. Sorry I changed the topic a bit

    • Non professional opinion

      December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Co-sign! Anyone who spends £535 on that crop top has more money than sense. Nigerian designers think that luxury is about inflated prices and forget about quality. The close up of the Jewel by Lisa piece has thread hanging from the beadwork and lanre da silva’s invisible zips never seem to be invisible. In the current economy it takes more than hype to make people part with their pounds, especially westerners. I wish all these designers enduring success but I think they might have wasted an opportunity.

    • Mimi

      December 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Really sound professional opinion. I may not have agreed with some of your comments in the past, but I agree with this one. For readers who cant go to Selfridges to see this collection, please open this link Please open it and compare. Couture my ass. That £435 clutch looks like beads on the bag my aboki’s daughter down the streets plays with. That was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it. A £435 clutch from an Italian, British or American designer, and the quality of the clutch will speak for itself. Yet I will be accused of not supporting Nigerian designers. Oh please. I work hard for my money, and it cant be easily parted from me. I dont begrudge any luxury item, I have a couple in my wardrobe, but if you want to sell luxury at least, let it be up to scratch. No one is dissing their hustle, but come on. Dont let me start about hotels in Nigeria, like Sandra said, I wont finish today. So Fisayo please, dont insult our intelligence by comparing them to Prada. As an avid fan of Prada I take offence.

    • Bee

      December 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      I COMPLETELY agree with you Sandra. They could price it as high as they want but Couture?? The amount of work, detail and time that goes into couture? This is not couture.
      I’ve been into Tiffany Amber several times and come out sad. The finishing does not justify the price, for the same amount, I’ll get perfect quality from a foreign brand.
      I admire this initiative, I really really do but the pricing is not realistic.

    • Low

      December 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Let’s be fair – JBL, LDA, Tiffany Amber and Odio Mimonet are not roadside tailors, nor do they always use readily available textiles, so your comment is a little out of context and would be better directed at the actual ‘offenders’. Take JBL, for instance. JBL started off embellishing Vlisco ankara and now has custom silk prints (not just store-bought — custom) that are sometimes further embellished. Silk is a high-end textile. Custom printed silk is higher-end. Hand embellished (each piece takes an average of 120 hours to embellish, they say) custom printed silk is…you see where I’m going with this. These designers haven’t claimed to be couturists, but seeing their pieces up close and appreciating the thought, technique and quality, the higher price points are justifiable. Now, the extent to which one finds them obscene or not is entirely up to individual judgement. Are these pieces expensive? Maybe. Would I pay £535 for a blouse given my current account balance? Maybe not. But when you say, ‘Anyone walk into Selfridges and go look at items from Western designers retailing for that same price and examine the quality and detailing’, you’re not being completely accurate. Take a look at the offerings on Similarly priced tops (i.e. £535 and up) are available from the Erdems, Peter Pilottos and Stella McCartneys of this world and they don’t seem markedly different in fabrication and technique. My point in a nutshell? Blanket statements are not terribly useful when one is making comparisons; judge designers and pieces on their individual merits and demerits. Statements like ‘African fashion is expensive’ are incomplete and lacking in nuance. Let’s be fair.

    • lilly

      December 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      GOD BLESS U!

    • Missy Y

      December 12, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Low its very cheap to custom silk, get a good graphic designer to do the design and send it off to China for production.

    • praise

      December 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Since you’re so well travelled and can afford these clothes, look at these prices. Some of them are even up for pre-order:
      A SIMPLE HALTER NECK GOWN, “PRINTED SILK” for $5000, on sale for $3k
      Before you say that was a gown, this is a basic day dress, with almost no design for $2375. Because it is good quality silk.

      That being said, JBL charging about E500 per item is NOTHING. U say u’re going to support the industry but really all ure doing is bringing it down with ur one-sided comments. If u’re really going to support, u will look for the ones who meet up to standard, construction wise. I see a few on here have called out Tiffany Amber for poor finishing. That is constructive criticism, but yours is plain destructive. Just a reminder, the industry will NOT stop working hard and raising prices if they have to. Those who do right by fashion will gain a lot and those who don’t will lose, yourself and kindred spirits included. If Nigerian designers keep stepping up their quality as some have already, they will make it, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU. But you or no one on earth will ever make them bring down their prices to please the masses.

    • Sandra

      December 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      You totally missed the point. I am not asking them to bring down prices, I am asking them to meet the standard that the pricing of their pieces evoke. Is that too much to ask? Why would Tiffany Amber charge so much for poorly finished items? The items you posted will be of great quality and finishing that you can trust everytime, (even if you are buying online) with very good, not run of the mill material. Before you go all voltron on my post, those are two different viewpoints. I wont ask Prada to reduce the price to please the masses, neither will I ask Ellie Saab, to make his dresses more affordable to please the masses or Christian Louboutin to make his shoes cheap. I happen to work in the luxury goods industry, and when you pay for premium, you expect premium. Not with fabric that I can see at the nearest open market. That silk print top is not embellished. Look closely Praise, look closely. Its just fabric sewn into a hideous looking crop top, plus the silk looks cheap. I’m tempted to drag my friends who work as buyers in the high end fashion business to Selfridges this weekend to see these pieces, if they havent seen it already. but those girls have sharp tongues and are very critical of designs (occupational hazard). I just know their comments wont be pretty, and they wont let me live it down.

    • Sandra

      December 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      I waited till i got on a laptop before I clicked on those 2 links. You must be drinking a special kind of Kool-aid, to bring up those dresses as basis for comparison. Honestly. That purple silk dress is gorgeous, and the quality of the silk is even described as lustrous, which is absolutely correct. $2375 is about £1500. If this dress was placed next to Tiffany Amber’s £1100, which dress would I choose? The purple silk, in a heartbeat, without even thinking about it, even though it is £400 more. See what I mean? Quality speaks for itself. It shines through. It doesnt need a huge price tag to label it as high end. I was too busy falling in love with the dress before I even looked at the price. I didnt give it a passing glance and hiss, the way I did looking at the ndani labels. Dont accuse me of not supporting Nigerian fashion. My reasons are are clear as water. As for the Gucci dress, seriously, do we need to discuss that too. Seriously.

    • bidibang

      December 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      God bless you Sandra.

    • Sonia

      December 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      @SANDRA, yes please, YOU must discuss both dresses. As @praise said, stop throwing in all these faux achievements and expecting all to fall for it like the other people on here. Lustrous is a technical term in the industry that just means ‘shine’. Simples. It doesn’t matter who describes what as what now.
      Again, you’re proving @praise point that you have zero intentions of supporting the industry. You pointed out that the top wasn’t embellished, is that all there is to put high prices on silk? You still haven’t come up with any factual comparisons of JBL’s clothing to the designers that were put up. I compared them and the purple one is much lighter hence the steep price, the Gucci one is georgette for Pete’s sake! Which is ACTUALLY inexpensive.
      I think you, just like countless Nigerians, have a complex when it comes to your own people and would rather ogle at some European’s.
      For the record JBL’s silks DO NOT look cheap. It’s a type of charmeuse or CdC. Anyway, if I go into more detail, I may just reveal my identity. So I’m done here.
      You and @praise can continue assuming pedestals over here and your prayer warriors can keep blessing you as they’ve been doing already.

    • Pinkfunky

      December 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Well said Sandra, we are so overrated!

    • adelegirl

      December 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Cyber hug Sandra! Could not have said it better myself. Nigerian designers remind me of financial bubbles and we all know that those burst sooner or later. Nigerian designers will overprice themselves out of the market and into obscurity at the rate they are going. It just doesn’t make sense! At a time when the western designers they are trying to aspire to are reducing their prices and partnering with high street stores to reach a wider range of clientele, that is when our own designers are coming out with overpriced outfits that any gifted “tailor-le-ran” can copy for a fraction of the price! One would think that they would be guided by the downturn in the economy at least! Just mind boggling!

    • anon

      December 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      You obviously know NOTHING about high fashion. Western designers are not getting cheaper, not at all. A FEW Western brands are collaborating with high street designers to make their stuff accessible to lower income people who like their stuff but cannot afford it. A VERY FEW. Most of these collaborations are for H&M and a few for Topshop- it’s not happening everyday. These designers are established, unlike Nigerian designers. They do not have this same opportunity. They will get there if they grow to be as big as these other fashion houses. In addition to that, which Nigerian high street stores do you want them to collaborate with exactly?
      Nigerian high fashion is obviously not as developed as the Western world. This does not mean that they cannot charge high prices. Those who it is targetted at are buying it, others like you are crying and making baseless statements about high fashion. Do your research and think, think.

    • essenceoflife

      December 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      BRAVO! BRAVO! u said it all….almost brought a tear in my eye… going to get my own soap box….facking twats! they must think we’re blady stupid… tailor afusat is just as good and she doesnt charge an arm and a leg!

    • jyde

      December 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Before anyone slags Sandra off,she has a point.
      Walk around the store all 5/6floors and feel the fabrics on sale.
      Some are more than quality they are exceptional.
      But notwithstanding nijah don land.

    • anon

      December 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Except you are a very stupid person, you would know that the statement ‘these designers are to Nigeria what Prada is to Italy’ does not mean that a direct comparison has been made between them and Prada. Are Nigeria and Italy on the same level? Riddle me that.

  5. Low

    December 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Hurts my heart that Odio Mimonet’s dress label says ‘his’ 🙁 But I’ll get over it 🙂

    Love this review and especially love that the furore over the prices was tackled upfront. The designers are justified in their pricing, obscene as they may sometimes seem (not just for our Nigerian designers; higher-end designers in general). That said, in the absence of £435 in disposable income today, I can still #buynigerian by supporting labels like GREY & Clan while initiatives like Ndani continue to serve the crucial purpose of fueling my aspiration 🙂 For instance, the one time I visited the new Temple Muse, I bought a GREY dress and longingly stroked a Tiffany Amber one. Soon come 🙂

    P.S. Omoyemi is BRILLIANT.

  6. the canadian

    December 11, 2012 at 11:55 am

    can’t wait for this print rush to go away… then we’d know who is who… seems like everyone is just hiding behind prints… hence they r claiming to be creative…. #verysoosha

    • anon

      December 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      It takes a special skill to creat amazing prints and combine different prints. Print rush or no print rush some international design houses are known for there prints year in year out.

  7. Miss Tm

    December 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    @ The Canadian print rush going away ke? Haba If someone is creative you cant take that away from them haba. Plus print is an african ID that has stayed for many generations so I dont get what you mean by print rush. The last time I checked Tiffany Amber and Lanre have been in the industry for a long time and they have worked with other fabrics not only Ankara. Please lets encourage people or leave them to do wht they are doing instead of hating them for being creative jare. That aside, Fisayo if thats all you wore outside I duff my cap for you ooo. (I cant be caught in this cold dressed up like this oooo.)
    Those Orange clothes on the mannequins are a NO NO for me o and I feel the items are too expensive but considering the store where they have been displayed,(SEALED LIPS)

  8. red soul

    December 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    i do have to say though i think JBL is a lazy designer…. her prints and quality of silk is becomin stronger

  9. Tee

    December 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Awesome and perfect description of the Ndani Project. Kudos to Omoyemi Akerele for constantly pushing Nigerian fashion and designers on the global scene.

  10. Kemi

    December 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    As long as the quality is indeed worth the price, I will gladly support African couture.

  11. Jasmine

    December 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Well done girls, I think the so called local designers (abi tailors – the types that appear on local tv stations) should take their cue from these ones and don’t think baecause you can buy 10 sewing machines and put on fb qualifies you to be a designer will awful styles. Kudos to the girls and btw most of them use Ankara silk not produced in Nigeria hence the cost and price tag etc.

    • Jasmine

      December 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm


  12. fashionandstylepolice

    December 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Beautiful. I will definitely check this out.

  13. huh?

    December 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I laugh in spanish….if only I luv them,may be well,what did I know?I have pretty sweet top that are less costly and people admire me much,with my cheap stuff.I always feel dressing is all about the physique of a person..well to each his own…I love the narrative part of the story,it really give one an imaginative thought…and not to mention,how u stare at urself in that mirrow,it so cool,but please I admire you than the cloth…peace!

  14. cool

    December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @ Sandra you are so right. I support and love Nigerian designers, but give me a break on those prices. I get what the blogger is trying to say about its not for the young or maybe the working class, it is for the elite. My thing is those material that are used for in making the clothes are not that expensive to carry those prices. Ankara is african staple and the most expensive ankara are the likes of super wax, and i have been to some of these designer stores in Nigeria they don’t use those materials they use the ones for #3000 or there about.

    • Mimi

      December 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Of course the elite in Nigeria are the ones that patronise them. Who makes up the elite in 9ja, if not for looters, politicians, “business men” and the likes, plus their offsprings. Look at the family ties and connections of these designers themselves, and there is your answer. You will realise of course, they can charge such. They are making clothes for their kind and kindred spirits. Or someone who has done an honest days work, or whose parents have done an honest days work will pay £535 for that silk top. Even if you can afford it. Come on. Did they they think they are in Lagos? Shey these designers are rich kids and must have been to shops in Paris, Milan new York and co. Can their items meet up? Their excuses range from this are one of a kind pieces, not mass produced in China like other designers, the items are couture, you are paying for the creativity and not the item itself. Oh yeah sure, boohoo. Not mass producing in China does not justify seling that silk top for £535, sorry. I almost choked on my food when I read how much Mai Atafo charged for Nicole’s (Naeto C’s wife) wedding dress. That un-inspiring, nothing special dress, with http://www.lightinthe kind of lace. Its Nicole na, we know who her parents and in-laws are. Buttresses my point about their clientele. For the same price, she would have had Vera Wang herself custom make her dress, and the style, quality of the lace etc would have been times 100.

    • Lewa

      December 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Actually her dress was by Yemi Osunkoya of Koshibah. #Just Saying

    • praise

      December 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      I see what it is. Too many broke people having opinions.
      Kosibah made Nicole’s dress, NOT Mai Atafo. The latter’s skills are not yet up to par to charge such amount of $$$.
      Regarding the pricing, while there are many designers who overcharge in Nigeria (eg Tiffany Amber and her subpar fabric quality in her TAN line), you’ll see that silks cut beautifully with print and beading would go for WAYYYY more than E435 in the global market. Is it beans to come up with all that crafft?? Schew.
      Honestly, if the prices are too steep becuz people are used to ZARA then just stay in ur lane. No need to come n classify all JBL shoppers as thieves and children of thieves. Some ppl work HARD for their money and still wear JBL.

    • Aibee

      December 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Yemi Oshikoya of Kosibah made Nicole Chukwueke (Mrs Naeto C)’s wedding dress. Just thought to point that out.

    • Missy Y

      December 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm

      Please Eki Orleans produce in China, so what’s the one of a kind.

    • BukiOni

      December 13, 2012 at 4:03 am

      I don’t think Yemi Osunkoya overcharges for his dresses. His studio is based in London and British couture bridal seamstress’ and pattern cutters aren’t cheap to hire – the creation of each garment takes hours of painstaking work and involves a lot of hand finished details. I used a lace similar to Nicole’s when I made my wedding dress and it cost around £179 per metre needless to say I only bought a metre and used it on the bodice (mostly on the bust). Luxury fabric is expensive especially if produced in a British or Continental European fabric mill, a decent silk duchesse satin costs over £60 per metre and the subsequent silk organza for the underlining over £20 per metre. To ensure a better fit these fabrics would have to be cut on the bias which uses up a lot of material making it even more expensive. A couture dress is as much about the fabric as it is about the construction and all these factors make them ridiculously expensive, I’ve only very recently come to this realisation myself and it was only because I sewed my own dress and bought the fabric myself – I quickly became acutely aware of just how labour intensive it is.

  15. Cee

    December 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Thumbs up to the Nigerian fashion industry. Love the global push and publicity but not the prices. Salut’

  16. Cee

    December 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Thumbs up to Nigeria’s fashion industry. Love the global push and publicity but not the prices. Salut’

  17. Teefah

    December 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I’m only here for the beautiful barbie dolls! LOL
    Those prices are definitely not targeted at me
    Awesome initiative anyways, perhaps they should think about doing a more affordable diffusion line

  18. Iris

    December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    *sigh* If these designers ‘are to Nigeria what Prada is to Italy’ then I hope they operate in the exact same way. At 435 pounds for a top and 1100 pounds for a dress they’d better have some exceptional after-sale service. I assume that if one bead falls off that purse within a period of time I can return it to be replaced with a new one or fixed for free by the designer. To those who are happy to spend, I’m happy for you and I’m happy for the revenues of the designers. Thank God I can still find fabric at Balogun and a tailor on my street sha.

    • lilly

      December 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      And then you will copy a BN photograph of a model wearing a LDA dress and tell your street tailor “autie sew this style for me please”, Tsk! Rubbish.

    • Simya

      December 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      SORRY?? And your point is what exactly, that people should leave above their means?

    • Iris

      December 12, 2012 at 1:38 am

      LOL, first of all I actually don’t care for many LDA dresses but I digress. Secondly, even if I wanted to copy a designer’s outfit, until she puts a copyright on her designs it’s free for all my dear. EVERY item of clothing in this world is free for all which is why designers themselves are free to draw inspiration from everything from the sun and the moon to other people’s creations. If it pains you so much tell all of them to get patents on their outfits and they can start taking half the population of Nigeria to court on the basis that their fashion creativity has been breached upon. Now be gone you amusing child.

    • The Style Nerd

      December 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Okay, just stop. Seriously?!

  19. anon

    December 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    @Iris Just to inform you that you do not get your Prada item replaced or fixed for free if one bead falls off.

    • mee

      December 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      what Prada do you go to, I still took an item to sloane str on saturday to get it fixed, I got excellent customer service, a receipt for my item to show as proof of ownership when I collect with my name and mob no, item to be sent to factory bought this item 2009 and all for free my dear!!!

    • Tempo

      December 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Ordinary LV have a 2year warranty on their belts which covers free fix/replacement if the stitching comes of or the leather gets scuffed. I expect Prada to have a similar policy.
      That said, apart from the fact that you pay for ‘exclusivity’ these prices include ridiculous mark-ups to cover overheads and misc expenses. At the end of the day #toeachhisown period.

    • Simya

      December 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      LOL! Perhaps your Prada was fake…cause I am not aware of 1 high fashion label that wouldn’t fix or replace damaged goods

  20. Mousepad

    December 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Very well articulated review by @Sandra December! Well said!!

  21. bella

    December 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    mehn, SANDRA God bless u, well said……
    am wondering y its the same names we keep celebrating in fashion…. this recently concluded lagos fashion and design week, the older designers were rubbish, it was only Lanre da silva that got a standing ovation, people wont talk, cos they have over kissed ass. the younger designers were wonderful. i will continue to support and buy nigerian pieces, so long as the quality and price is sensible.

  22. Cynthia

    December 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Wasted opportunity in my opinion but hey at least they got the exposure. I guess a business needs more exposure than sales [sarcasm]. Well done to Omoyemi and co. for their great initiative.

  23. lilly

    December 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Trust Nigerians never to support their own, trust them to make baseless statements not backed by facts. Its what makes us popular, the Nigerian will make anyone believe the sun is black by violent and aggressive arguments similar to the ones I see above, then quickly move to raining insults as a means of supporting that they actually know what they are saying. *Sigh* I am Nigerian, I do this too. Thumbs up to Stylehousefiles, Thumbs up to Ndani- GTBank, Thumbs up to the Nigerian Designers on the Selfridges window showcase, who am certain will not take one heed to the silly comments alot of BN readers are making.

    • Non professional opinion

      December 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      I support Nigerian designers. I support them with my credit card and not just my mouth, I just think that these designers might be punching above their weight. I’ve seen a close up of that silk top and the quality of the fabric and finish isn’t excellent and it definitely isnt standard for price point. Our designers have great ideas but a lot of times the pieces don’t bear close scrutiny. That is not what luxury is about. These designers are our ambassadors in this sphere and there job is nt to confirm that great quality can’t come from nigeria because that isn’t true.

    • Passerby

      December 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      You are one of the problems we have in Nigeria. You wont see the truth and just say it. Mscheeeetwww!

  24. SandraPascal

    December 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Very very shallow of you to assume that everyone who purchases JBL outfits is a thief or children of thieves. I work very hard for my money and I can afford to purchase JBL dresses. I am no politicians child and my parents are not thieves. No one is forcing you to buy it. If Zara and Primark is what your money can get you then please stay in your lane.

  25. Anonymous

    December 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Nigeria has tailors, not designers. 😐

  26. R

    December 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Great initiative by Style House Files and Omoyemi A.!!!!
    The topic of prices of Nigerian labels isn’t another topic, don’t have energy to type all.
    Long story short, these brands are market as “luxury brands” not “regular brands”. If you keep this in mind and the fact that most of the clothes are custom-made (as opposed to manufactured which is significantly less costly), then you understand the rationale behind the pricing a bit more.
    The question of whether the quality matches the price/market target is another question. In some cases, yes. In others, maybe not.

    Great job SHF!!!!

    • R

      December 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      *marketed as

    • Missy Y

      December 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Sorry to disappoint you, most of these are not custom-made. I know a few designers who produce their collections in China.

  27. Rosellar

    December 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    In 2008, I bought a gorgeous, embellished white dress, right off window display from Tiffany Amber @ The Palms Shopping mall for my wedding anniversary. The fabric shrank after one visit to the dry cleaners. Of course, I went back to the store and to cut a long story short, several months and no callback later, I returned to pick the dress in the same condition!!

  28. Audrey

    December 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    @Lilly why we do have a thriving knock off industry ‘ don’t q

  29. Ms. Dior

    December 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Hmmm, I agree but not sure what to say…..First off, Lisa Folawiyo is basking too much in this celebration that we’re giving her, though i’ll have to admit, for someone who never went to fashion school she’s doing well for herself. But come on 535 pounds for a “silk” blouse? Please no. The Fall collection would have been a bit more manageable. And yes, i can afford high end. For instance a Kenzo sweater i bought recently, well knitted with exquisite embroidery retails for less! And her bags? Very disappointing, she for try and buy leather nau. I can proudly appreciate LDA because her clothes actually look expensive this time. Tiffany Amber will forever be poorly finished. Odio Mimonet should not be there. At all. But at the end of the day, i realize that Omoyemi Akerele should be applauded for hooking them up with Selfridges, but she should have edited them first. Rumor has it that Anna Dello Russo practically scoffed at the pieces! Choi

  30. shanday

    December 12, 2012 at 12:17 am

    What is up with all this bad belle. Abeg, appreciate the designers rather than being critical. It’s a great leap for the Nigerian Fashion Industry.

  31. shanday

    December 12, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Totally agree with you Lilly. I don’t understand why people are quick to find faults with other people’s success. If you think you are a better designer, go and start your own label shikena. This is an awesome initiative that should be applauded.

  32. NNENNE

    December 12, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Great idea!

  33. baby

    December 12, 2012 at 3:46 am

    and LV, Chanel, Gucci all don’t use cheap labour in China and Indonesia? Abeg e. I’ve been to LDA’s studio and she doesn’t have her tailors locked up in some factory sewing from morning to night. Yes! don’t know if I would pay that much on a top, but I have a few Nigerian designs (LDA silk blouse, Eki-Orleans Silk dress) that I cherish and proud to wear on the red carpet.

    • Sonia

      December 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      What is wrong with you people? LV is made in only Italy, France and USA. Chanel is made in only Italy and France. Tbh, education in fashion is scarce and something must be done about it.

  34. Fashion's Playground

    December 12, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I love the fact that Nigerian Designers have been able to break through into the western world. Despite quality and pricing the fact that Ndani has made it this far shows hard work and dedication. Keep it up, this is a symbol of motivation and hope for many young Nigerian designers out there who are also aspiring to achieve such heights.

  35. bey

    December 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    HMmmmh yall shld remember they paid for space there,dey pay 4 der p.r flight tckts to everywher,if dey dnt get big shwrooms in nigeria nw,yall will still complain,adverts dey,infact all of u talking,try sewing 10 diff peoples dresses,the stress,d complains,d stress of tailors….and u say dey shld not charge? Hian!!! Tufia,me sef i go charge!

  36. Tope

    December 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Wow, so much negative energy, is it the sun in 9ja causing this, cos I really fail to understand how 95% of post can follow the same streamline of ignorance and stupidity, and not have the foresight of what this means for the industry, quite sad to know that Nugeria really isn’t going to move forward as a whole with the mindset of this generation, Words fail me every time when I read comments, to each their own, the economy is failing its country, the people that can are doing what they can do put our names out there with their talent, fashion, music etc and dimwits like

  37. Tope

    December 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    You all can sit behind an electronic device without any innovative ideas or talent and trash talk those that are making a difference, smh I’m genuinely sad for my country! Very sad!!!!

    • felicitibelle

      December 17, 2012 at 8:05 am

      You don’t have to be sad dear, genuine and constructive criticism makes one a better person/brand if taken on board. One of the reason why the black race is still far behind is because we perceive all criticism as bad belle/envy, when one is criticised it’s better to sit down and analyse in their case how they can improve more on their craft. All these big designers in the west have their work go through Fashion critics (same for music and other creative field like technology) so they can constantly give their creative best in exchange for the money they take. If there are no industry critics, the world will be a junk place as we know those who believe in their art/innovation/invention by the ability to take criticism on or suggestions on board secretly even if though there’s a feeling of resentment at rejection of one’s pitch. Great designers has been in one way or the other criticised in the past, that’s why they are here today.Ndani is a very good initiative as Rome is not built in a day there are still more rooms for improvement.

  38. Tee

    December 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    It appears that a lot of us are not aware of the way merchandising works. Every item carried by a retailer such as Selfridges, Neiman Marcus, Saks etc is marked up by the retailer with at least 200percent of the supplier cost. Why do you think the prices of designer/luxury items vary from store to store and country to country. Therefore, the price tags on any of the items at Ndani is not the price set by the designers. The prices have been set by Selfridges.


    December 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I agree that the prices might be steep but, that shouldn’t be the only focus here. the feat or rather huge step,the industry has a taken by this showcase to a large diverse audience is what we should celebrate. quality and price control will come naturally, shaped by demand, and feedback just like this ones on bellanaija. So, let’s not get too worked up about the prices/quality and in the process lose sight of our small victories; After all it is said that even as you scold/punish a child with one hand, you bring the child closer and offer succor with the other.

    That been said, i think, the designers themselves should read and take all the comments opined here so far very seriously and make immediate adjustments where necessary, especially in terms of product finishing and quality. As far as i can tell, every fashion lover can afford to buy a beautiful fashion staple, no matter the cost as long as it is worth it, therefore, make your staples worth the prices !!!!!!
    As for those getting all bent out of shape with the comments above, go and sleep jare. everyone has a right to his/her opinion………… not just you…winks.

  40. Miss T

    December 13, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Fashe all this price argument, its hurting my head to read.

    I went past Selfridges last two weeks or so and saw this. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see Ndani on the display window, I even took pics lol. I was very proud :).

    • Miss T

      December 13, 2012 at 2:13 am

      One thing I have to say though is that money makes you see things differently. ALl the things people are saying now if you have stupid money to spend, you will buy ugly things for very exorbitant prices and call it fashion and art and all that. That is how the world is.

  41. Lalo

    December 13, 2012 at 3:03 am

    The audacity to have such absurd and ridiculous prices. Unbelievable!

  42. Adoley

    December 13, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I am not a nigerian…ghanaian as a matter of fact, but I hope that doesn’t discount my opinion. btw, I love Bella naija! Keep it coming!
    I love to support our own, but as Africans we must [support our own], but at the cost of being labeled “cheap and tacky” does not help us. I want be as proud to show off ankara, christie brown, Jewel by Lisa as I would be showing off micheal kors, Guess, Giani Bini, Gucci or any other brand. These people have a choice; they can accept the criticism or brush it off. Critiques can make you stronger, and in their case the brand more sharper and appeal more on the international stage. I agree with Sandra’s critique: If you are going to claim “couture” in name and price tag, then live up to your claim. You can’t crawl before you can walk and walk before running. If these designers want to call their materials “couture”, then show us how you select your materials, how you refine them, and the skill level of your “artisans” or designers/seamtress have. Let that come out your finished product. Accountability matters. Also, when it comes copying and fakeness…i think the chinese have that covered. lol…No one can do better or…

    The pop-up shop presentation was nice; however I do feel like they could have been a bit more creative with the presentation. For example, Embellishing the x-mas tree with accessories ie.) earrings, or scarves/ head tie as bow on top would have made things stand out even more. Or even using a solid background (instead of the print) and solid colors with gift wrapping would make the items stand out more. And adding children mannequins to make it like a family receiving gifts of the items they were selling would help people envision how presentable these gifts are to others in the West (we know of course, tho). Also, more authenticity in materials would have been nice. (fake kente is not good look).

    On a side note, I would like to african print being used to make electronic accessories e.g.) laptop sleeve or case, cell phone case, iPad case, USB holder or lunch bags e.g.) like BYO would be hot..

    • Sonia

      December 16, 2012 at 5:52 am

      Wow, not being Nigerian does not discount your point but thinking Guess is a designer and Michael Kors is a designer worth showing off is the main issue.

  43. B L A D E

    December 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Regarding comments on the prices, one very important issue that has been sidelined or missed, is the simple fact that the retail price is determined by the retailer and not the designer, in this case Selfidges. As much as 60 to 90 percent of the money made on each item sold will go to the retailer, leaving the designer with what ever is left. It is widely practiced within the international luxury retail industry to mark up the prices of items by as much as 2000% over and above the intial wholesale price. This being one of the main reasons many international luxury brands will always strive to open their own stand alone stores.

  44. ibukun george

    December 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Eyes hurting from reading the whole comments .

  45. [email protected]

    December 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Don’t mind that dullard called anon saying u don’t get ur designer items fixed for free..they all give that service no doubt..some folks come here and talk crap to feel like they know something.
    Sandra,cudos! U said it all,ain’t nothing to add…gbam like they’d say.

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