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Three decades, two continents, Bakare soars higher

By Florence Utor
04 September 2021   |   3:00 am
Before the world began to reckon with Nigerian designers, Ade Bakare had made a name for himself as a Nigerian that was making couture dresses for crème-de-la-crème of the society

Nigeria/British couture designer, Ade Bakare

Before the world began to reckon with Nigerian designers, Ade Bakare had made a name for himself as a Nigerian that was making couture dresses for the crème-de-la-crème of the society. Bakare just marked three decades of his label, Ade Bakare Couture and he recounts his journey so far.

According to Bakare, “I established the Ade Bakare Couture label in 1991 with a loan from the prince of Wales business trust (PYBT), which the Prince founded to support young entrepreneurs with good business ideas.

Upon graduating from Fashion College in Manchester, Safford University College, I spent one year working for couture designers such as Victor Edelestein and Christina Stambolian.”

Bakare continues, “The label then started selling a line of high-end day and evening dresses to boutiques and stores across England. I later set up a couture salon in Mayfair which made dresses for private clients and also launched my first perfume line.”

Bakare began to look inwards as he began staging fashion shows in Nigeria and his craft caught the eyes of fashion enthusiasts leading to constant travels to Nigeria, subsequently opening a shop in Victoria Island Lagos, which he still maintains.

In contributing his quota to the growth of the Nigerian fashion industry, Bakare says, “I have worked on various successful projects, setting up Young Designers Creative Competition (YDCC), to promote upcoming fashion talents, designing uniforms for top-notch Hotels, Restaurants, providing clothes for foremost reality shows in Nigeria, airline uniforms and costume designing for films which involves a lot of research as some of the movies are epic, but this is where my history degree from the University of Lagos proves very useful. I am also organising a fashion design seminar for young and upcoming designers in Lagos to mark my three decades in the industry.”

Bakare concluded, “I wanted to mark the 30 years celebrations so the younger generation can appreciate it takes time to build any business and the notion of overnight success especially in this age of celebrity culture and instant success is a smokescreen. I have also planned another couture show in London in September and a gala dinner in December in Lagos where I would unveil my fashion book 30 years of style.”

A fashion show saw him showcase his collection for 2021 and the highlight of the show saw his private clients such as Bimbo Haffner, Jumoke Owoyeye, Gogo Yusuff, Aduke Gomez, Shaffy Bello, Omowunmi Dada, Towun Candid Johnson, Funmilayo Marinho, Tundun Tejuosho, Eriye Onagoruwa, Adekemi Adewunmi and Helen Prest Ajayi parade his couture designs.

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