The Lagos Fashion and Design Week is here and this year’s theme has been announced as “AFRICA: Shaping Fashion’s Future”. As is expected, the runway shows and presentations will feature new season collections from designers in the African fashion industry. While the idea is that these designers would be showcasing their latest creations to the public, industry and potential buyers, anybody who has ever been to a Fashion Week event knows that the real fun lies observing all of the industry’s stereotypes together.
There is something about the week that intensifies the behavior of fashionistas and stakeholders. Perhaps it is the excitement of being close to the runway, or the rush of excitement from being able to show off their own personal style (let’s be honest getting ‘street style’ photographed is the main goal for many), but whatever it is, it makes the week all the more exhilarating.
From the blogger who thinks he belongs, to the C-list celebrity desperate for attention, allow us to introduce you to the cast of characters that you’d undoubtedly find at this year’s LFDW.
The attention-seeking fashionista
This usually is an Instagram star, glamour girl, wanna-be celebrity or slay queen with a strong desire to have somebody stop them and ask “Can I take your photo?” They constantly pry for the attention of street style photographers, or anyone for that matter as they painstakingly put together their ensemble months before the event for the sole purpose of being photographed.
They have the nagging hope that they will somehow be the “IT” person of the entire week. And it is usually hard not to notice these people; not just because they are shameless souls, but their garbs are usually a little too extra and their shoes are certainly not made for movement.
Celebrities with no clue about fashion
These are in two categories: The celebrity who has no clue about fashion but has been paid by a particular designer to wear the outfit; and two, the desperate semi-irrelevant celebrities who can’t be bothered about fashion, but pop up all over the place all through the week looking to get some attention.
The first kind of celebrity is usually the A-list who wouldn’t need to buy a ticket as he/she is invited already. He/she is just interested in cozying up to designers and hitting the after parties. But the second kind is usually C-list, who hustles to get a spot in the front row and hopes no A or B-list celebrity shows up to steal the spotlight. Of course, the designer or the kind of show will determine the kind of celeb you’ll get to see.
The Fashion Editors, Bloggers and Writers
These people truly are the gatekeepers of fashion and are not to be overlooked. They are the ones who will be judging the festivities and most times. Whether they got a pass or they snuck in, depending on the prominence of their platform, they’re there to do one thing: their job. The first thing you find them doing is enquiring about the venue’s WiFi password. Armed with their faux designer handbags and sunglasses in the evening time, they are always taking notes and pictures. They are never without their phones or cameras. Usually, they attend the first day in their finest garb; but, by the end of the week, their outfits will become gradually more functional. For some, especially the bloggers who persist of dressing up all through the days of the week, they are looking to get noticed, either for their outfit, or their blog.
This is not restricted to the female though. The ratchets are the ones who have no business identifying with fashion, but are determined nonetheless. Perhaps they are upcoming stylists or they have a unique sense of fashion that they want to showcase, but whatever they put on, suffixes shame to the word “style”. They are the ones who get you sitting and pondering over what must have gone through their mind when they were putting together their ensemble. They look tacky AF and 9 out of 10 times, they do not even buy the tickets to the show. They just pose outside the venue, taking more pictures of themselves than of the shows. And the worst part is they usually have a killer ‘I woke up like this’ vibe.
The Fashion Royalties
These are the people the entire week are made for, really. They are bourgeois AF and LFDW really wouldn’t be Fashion Week without a visit from them. They are the ones who will actually buy some of the clothes. They usually are socialites, dignitaries, top-class celebrities, and the fashion conscious elite. You find them in the front row, donned in outfits that cost as much as or even more than rent for a 3-bed in Ikoyi.
The Street Style Photographers
The street style photographers are perhaps the most aggressive bunch at the fashion week. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that they carry around a small house deposit in the form of camera equipment, but they have been known to cause a ruckus outside of the hosting venues for even the most trivial of reasons. You find them swarming around the venue in the hopes of snapping an A-Lister, and they always have this fed-up look in their eyes. While others go home after the show to catch some sleep, they have to spend many hours editing pictures and file images for agencies or media outlets.
These are the designers who did not make the cut or were not fortunate to meet the deadline for enrolling to showcase at the LFDW. They resort to dressing up models and letting them parade the venue in their designs with the hope that they will bring attention to their brand. These designers actively seek out the media people on the ground to alert them on their models. For these people, the hustle is real.
These ones could be stylists, publicists, MUA journalists and even off-duty models. They are into the business and know what it is about. They arrive well-dressed and probably rocking the latest trends, but they also wear a heavy sense of entitlement. They arrive with an eye for details which gets them to notice, and they critique every other person on the ground. Usually, they either stand alone in their majesty, wearing a smug look and judging eyes or gathered in small circles, each adorned in designer clothes and expensive shiny shoes. If you get close enough you will be able to hear them making snarky comments or just sharp reproving statements about other people’s outfits or behavior.
Can you think of any other kinds of people you’ve seen at this year’s LFDW? Let us know in the comments.
Photo Credit: Kola Oshalusi/Insignia