South Africa may very well be the fashion leader in Africa right now but I can assure you that yours truly is on a hare footed trail in this segment.

20 years ago this wasn’t the story in Africa, not as the result of any benefit from colonialism…anything African or seemingly “made in Nigeria” was seen as inferior.

About 11 years ago, research was conducted by Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, (former national President of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN)) on Nigerian fashion. This was as a result of her failure at the fashion shows she did in the USA.

She eventually came to the eye-opening conclusion that even with her African designs, it was almost impossible to compete with the westerners using their fabric like pure virgin wool…as they were obviously going to be better instead fabrics that revered Africa representing the style, aspirations and symbols of its people.

Now, it is ever so visible that the Nigerian fashion industry is on a roll.

Instead of a boring list of its high players, below are some excerpts from the recently concluded Arise Magazine Fashion Week 2011:

Stephanie Okafor