Fashion can drive economic growth, says Omoyemi Akerele
As Nigeria continues to battle economic recession, with the government looking to economic diversification as one of the ways of easing off the hardship, fashion industry may be one of the key drivers of such diversification said Omoyemi Akerele, the founder of Style House Files and Lagos Fashion and Desing Week.
But Akerele said Nigeria’s ‘evolving’ fashion industry has to experience a growth of its own, which she said is dependent on an adequate understanding of its subsectors that function as a value chain.
“At SHF/LFDW we believe that fashion can be a key driver of economic growth” but “the sector’s growth lies in working together with a deeper understanding that each subsector needs the other to thrive,” she said while responding to questions on Guardian Tweet Chat on Tuesday.
Akerele said the 2016 edition of LFDW was designed to raise an awareness for Nigeria’s evolving fashion sector as means of enhancing its capacity to contribute to economic development.
“We are committed to the growth and promotion of the industry by nurturing and fine tuning talents and providing them with a solid platform for achieving their goals.
“From access to funding, market manufacturing…we collaborate with partners to provide skills acquisition, master classes, as well as opportunities to present their work before an audience that facilitates commerce,” she added.
In its sixth edition, LFDW attracts over 6,000 fashion insiders, including buyers, retailers, local and international press, celebrities, models, and special guests will feature an exciting four-day line-up, consisting of the Fashion Business Series, LFDW X Retail, the #HeinekenLFDW After Party and Africa’s finest fashion design talents.
Style House Files and Lagos Fashion and Design Week are placed within the system to create opportunities for the sector to grow, she noted. But the focus, according to her, has to go beyond just fashion to embrace skills development, knowledge acquisition, access to larger African market and showcasing Nigerian fashion talents to a global audience.
“Our vision is to create an ecosystem of thriving businesses that can impact the economic landscape and for the first time since inception, we are hopeful that this can be achieved,” Akerele said.