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A Fashion Fairytale! How House of Dabira WON the Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge & dressed Dakore for the 2015 AMVCA

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The finale Smile

Remember the dreamy dress actress Dakore Akande wore to the 2015 Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards? Well that dress was part of a unique red carpet challenge where budding designers competed to have her wear their piece on the red carpet.

There is definitely a huge bank of untapped talent out there, and that was the inspiration for the Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge. The competition was born out of a need to promote the new/aspiring fashion designers and create a platform for them to showcase their craft/talent to the world.

62 candidates sent in their sketches for the red carpet challenge, and in the end 4 were chosen to present their pieces based on event suitability, originality, Dakore’s body type etc.

Follow their journey as they competed have their dress walk the red carpet.

The Selection Process
Judges for the selection process included Bola Balogun, CEO of Glam Networks and Glam Brand Agency; Godson Ukeagbu, Editor of Mania Magazine; Ify Azubike ; and Ezinne Chinkata, stylist & owner of fashion store Zinkata.

Revised Dahlia Spring 2015 Order Sheet-2

Ezinne Chinkata, Ify Azubike, Godson Ukaegbu & Bola Balogun

Selection Process: Ezinne Chinkata, Bolu Balogun, Ify Azubike and Godson Ukaegbu

The Shortlisted Candidates & their Sketches

1. Omowunmi Owonifari – Mo’fari Couture

Submitted Sketch by Mo'fari Couture

Illustration by Omowunmi Omonifari of Mo’fari Couture

2. Irene Omiunu – Y.E.G.A

Illustration by Y.E.G.A

Illustration by  Irene Omiunu of Y.E.G.A

3. Folu Ajayi – House Of Dabira

Sketched design by Fulu Ajayi: House of Dabira

Illustration by Folu Ajayi of House of Dabira

4. Adebola Adebowale – Derb’s Signature

Illustration by Derb's Signature

Illustration by Adebola Adebowale of Derb’s Signature

Fabric Selection
Flow Fabrics were the official sponsors of the Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge. They provided the finalists with a wide array of fabrics to choose from, that best suited their design aesthetics.

Bisoye, C reative Director, Flow Fabrics

Bisoye (Creative Director, Flow Fabrics)

L-R: mo'fari Couture, Y.E.G.A's representative and House of Dabira at Flow Fabrics

Omowunmi Owonifari (Mo’fari Couture), Y.E.G.A’s representative & Folu Ajayi (House of Dabira) at Flow Fabrics

House of Dabira: Fabric Selection Phase

Folu Ajayi of House of Dabira

The 4 finalists went back to their various destination to start on their designs and prepare for the first round of eliminations.

First Set of Fittings with Sade Thomas Fahm
The first fitting was quite an important one. Sade Thomas Fahm, reputed to be one of Nigeria’s first fashion designers and also one of the first to open a fashion boutique, was there to speak to the girls about their designs and critique their work at the Flow Fabrics HQ.

Dakore also got to meet the contestants for the first time and tried on her tentative AMVCA dresses.

Mrs Sade Thomas Fahm addressing the finalists

Sade Thomas Fahm

Dakore Akande, Mrs Sade Fahm and Ezinne Chinkata

Dakore Akande, Sade  Thomas Fahm & Ezinne Chinkata

The 1st Y.E.GA Fitting


Dakore in Y.E.G.A

Y.E.G.A discussions with Mrs Fahm

Dakore and the Y.E.GA Representative

Dakore and the Y.E.G.A Representative

The 1st Derb’s Signature Fitting

Adebola Adebowale of Derb's Signature explaining her design process

Adebola Adebowale (Derb’s Signature) explaining her design process

Dakore Akande fitting Derb's Signature

Dakore Akande in Derb’s Signature

The Mo’fari Couture Fitting

Mrs Sade Thomas Fahm Analysing Mo'Fari's design

Mo'Fari fitting

Dakore Akande, Omowunmi Owonifar( Mofari), Ify Azubike

Dakore Akande, Omowunmi Owonifari ( Mo’fari) & Ify Azubike

With House of Dabira’s fitting moved to the next day, Sade Thomas Fahm gave designers constructive feedback on how to amend their dresses, changes to implement and general fashion advice. They also got feedback from Dakore on the pros and cons of their dresses.

At the end of the day, it was farewell for Derb’s Signature’s dress with Mo’fari and Y.E.G.A moving on to the next stage.

Dakore got to meet with the House of Dabira designer Folu Ajayi the next day; and selected Y.E.G.A, Mo’fari & House of Dabira’s dresses for the 2nd day of fittings.

Second Set of Fittings
The 2nd set of fittings held at the Zinkata store. Dakore, among stakeholders and sponsors, met with the designers to try the dresses post-amendment and possibly decide on the winning dress.

The dresses has started to take shape with major improvements like Y.E.G.A adding embellishments to her dress, and Mo’fari removing the mono-strap cowl neck on her dress.

The 2nd Y.E.G.A Fitting

Dakore and Mobo Biobaku of Mobo's Fashion Ltd

Dakore in Y.E.G.A & Mobo Biobaku  (CEO, Mobo’s Fashion Ltd)

Dakore Akande in Y.E.G.A (Second fitting)

Deliberations Y.E.G.A

The 2nd Mo’fari Fitting

Dakore in Mo'fari Couture at the second fitting

Dakore in Mo’fari

Dakore in Mo'fari Couture

Omowunmi Owonifari (Mo'Fari couture), Dakore Akande and Ezinne Chinkata

Omowunmi Owonifari (Mo’Fari couture), Dakore Akande & Ezinne Chinkata

The 2nd House of Dabira Fitting

Second fitting with House of Dabira

Dakore in House of Dabira

Delibeartions: Dakore, Folu Ajayi , Mobo (Mobos Fashion) and Amaka(Zoya Jewels)

Dakore in House of  Dabira, Folu Ajayi , Mobo Miobaku (Mobos Fashion) & Amaka (Zoya Jewels)

Banke Meshida Lawal of Bmpro..enjoying the discussions!!

Banke Meshida Lawal (BMPro)

Folu Ajayi (House of Dabira) Defending her design

Folu Ajayi (House of Dabira) Defending her design

The 2nd set of fittings ended with Dakore selecting 2 dresses – the red Y.E.G.A dress and the purple and yellow dress from House of Dabira.

Speaking to the Finalists

Dakore speaking to the finalists

Emotional farewell for Omowunmi Owonifari (Mo'fari).

Dakore & Omowunmi Owonifari (Mo’fari) (the evicted designer from day 2)

The Third & Final Set of Fittings
It was the final day of fittings and unfortunately Folu Ajayi of House of Dabira was unable to make the final fitting due to amendments she was making to the bottom part of her dress.

Y.E.G.A had also made a major change to her dress taking off the sleeves and embellishments.

The 3rd Y.E.G.A Fitting


A happy Dakore!!!

Dakore in Y.E.G.A

The Finale!
For the finale, Maison Fahrenheit provided a great suite for preparations etc. We were super anxious as there was yet to be a clear winner of the competition.

It was either Y.E.GA or House of Dabira. Y.E.G.A’s red dress was transformed beautifully and the purple & yellow dress by House of Dabira was dreamy; but a lot had to be amended with the embellishment and yellow roses on the bottom half. It was stiff a competition!

Folu Ajayi at the Maison Fahrenheit putting in her finishing touches

Folu Ajayi at the Maison Fahrenheit putting in her finishing touches

Shoes from Mobos Fashion

Shoes from Mobos Fashion

Accessories by Zoya Jewels

Accessories by Zoya Jewels

Face beat by BmPro

Face beat by BMPro


And the winner is…
After a final fitting by Dakore, the winning dress was announced…21 year old Folu Ajayi of House of Dabira won the competition!


Folu Ajayi and Dakore Akande

Mr his smile of approval

Olu Akande giving his smile of approval

Yellow Clutch from Mobos Fashion

Yellow Clutch from Mobos Fashion

So tell us how long you ve been

Banke, Dakore and Ezinne

Banke, Dakore & Ezinne

Dakore, Ezinne and management of Maison Fahrenheit

Dakore, Ezinne & management of Maison Fahrenheit

The final look!

The finale Smile

The Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge was a successful competition! Congratulations Folu…this is just the beginning!

Here’s what the 21 year old graduate of Law from Ibadan had to say;

After doing my research on Dakore Akande’s previous red carpet looks, I decided I wanted something fun and original. I wanted her to feel like royalty, so I knew it had to be dreamy. To achieve this, volumes of tulle (35yards, to be exact) was used to get the floaty look. Yellow petals were cut from 5 yards of chiffon from Flow Fabrics for  texture. Each petal was hand stitched with tiny pearls to the dress.”

Heading to the AMVCA'S

Heading to the AMVCA’S

Finally, Dakore in House of Dabira made the BN Best Dressed List!

BellaNaija presents Our Best Dressed List from the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards

A Note from Ezinne;

I would like to say a very big thank you to all the sponsors and supporters, and everyone who believed in and supported the Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge. A very big thank you to all those that applied. All the sketches were beautiful and you all did a fantastic job. Keep your passions burning and the dream alive. Together we can build & support a great fashion industry.

Ezinne Chinkata

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