Fashion has morphed in recent times due to the rise of social media, fashion brands have more access to customers and vice versa. Niche brands focused on communicating narratives that resonate with their audience are increasingly leading various fashion spaces. Being a fashion brand in this new age is about threading design and storytelling, using the clothes as a way to capture the timeline of the youth who’re the pulse of fashion around the world. In the Nigerian fashion system, big brands like Kenneth Ize, Lisa Folawiyo, IAMISIGO, Orange Culture, have graced big fashion runways around the world and headlined local runways such as Arise and Lagos Fashion Week.
Within this ever-expanding fashion industry, a set of niche brands that cater to a more youthful, ready-to-wear but still fashion-conscious audience, has begun to take shape with more brands stepping out to cater to the needs of one of the biggest youth populations in the world. With the world at their fingertips, comes diverse taste palettes, and a fresh sense of individualism much-welcomed by consumers. Young consumers are less ‘traditional’ and ‘conservative’ with their style, embracing intentionality in who, what and why they wear any piece of clothing.
The contemporary brands mentioned in this piece release ‘drops’ which are similar to capsule collections, as opposed to prioritizing the typical runway route. A formula that has been successful for brands like Supreme and Nike. This way, they don’t have to keep excess in stock, and they can focus on building a unique voice and audience instead of having to conform to the rules of the fashion world.
Lagos being the heart and pulse of everything style is home to a few of the hottest brands right now with the ‘BUZZ’. We’ve curated a list of a few of the hottest brands you should be wearing right now.
Ashluxe is probably one of Nigeria’s biggest streetwear labels which is the namesake brand to the luxury store Ashluxe. Founded by Yinka Ash, who started as a personal shopper in 2015, he was obsessed with getting a perfect T-shirt with the right fit and cut which he did not find easy so he had to design his own perfect Tee which gave birth to Ashluxe.
With standout pieces like their graphic tees, tracksuits, co-ord sets, ‘Butterfly’ denim jacket, and co-signs from big names like Davido and Naira Marley, Ashluxe has become the go-to ‘Luxury’ streetwear brand and can be seen everywhere around Lagos, authentic and knock-offs alike.
WAF formerly known as ‘WafflesNCream’ founded by Jomi Marcus-Bello, has been one of the biggest advocates for the emerging skateboarding culture in Nigeria as well as one of the pioneers fighting for the sport to have a more mainstream appeal to the average Nigerian.
As well as pioneering a community of skaters, WAF has also been known for their lines of merch, which includes tees, caps, jackets, ankara print cargos, and a lot more trademark pieces they’ve come to be known by. With their sometimes ‘vocal’ but fun & catchy designs, they’ve become one of the hottest brands around Lagos.
David Blackmore is a streetwear brand known for its artisan denim which incorporates cuts and prints to give interesting reinterpretations of Jeans. The brand has grown into one of the household names on the scene, forging forward and growing its fanbase with merch collaborations with artists, most notably, Bella Shmurda.
The brand keeps growing its offering of products, which have featured silk shirts, tees, custom adire prints, bags, and more. Their pieces are becoming an essential streetwear staple.
If you need to get ready for Hot Girl Summer, or simply a lit night-out, then you definitely need a pair of J Bottoms. With an offering almost exclusively for women, the young label has become one of the buzziest brands this year especially. With a model reminiscent of the American brand, Matte Brand, their pieces are essentially made for women who dress to feel sexy.
If you’re well versed in the streetwear scene in Lagos then you’ve probably stumbled on Severe Nature through one of their many pop-ups, shows, or Flagship store right in the heart of Ikoyi. The brand has been one of the leading voices in the streetwear scene with frequent capsule drops which range from tees, shirts, denim, shorts, and other offerings. They’ve grown a strong cult following over the years and maintained their edge and relevance.
NBDA has been growing its audience steadily over the last few years with the wide success of its Geo-Tech Slides which have helped the brand gain popularity. Although NBDA has released other footwear pieces, the brand is focusing on expanding their Geo-Tech slides selections with collaborations and more colorway iterations which makes perfect sense. We’re looking forward to what the brand has next to offer.
First featured on More Branches in 2018, Pith Africa has resurfaced this year as one of the brands to watch with their frequent drops, creative visual campaigns, and logomania. Back from a hiatus, Pith Africa is experiencing a rapid embrace of its recent products among Lagos youth. These pieces include denims, tees, shirts, two pieces, trucker hats, utility jackets, ties, and a teased ‘jumpsuit.’
Notable Mention –
Free The Youth
Free The Youth is a crew of fashion entrepreneurs in Ghana formed in 2013 by Jonathan Coffie, a Ghanaian interior decorator, Winfred Mensah, Richard Ormano, and Kelly Foli. As the purpose of their initiative was well understood by their fellows, their initiative has grown to become a very strong brand across the globe. Over the last three years, they’ve risen to the top of Ghana’s fashion ecosystem as one of the hottest brands in the country that has been worn by almost everyone who’s someone. The brand incorporates denim pieces with tees, bags, hats and other cool streetwear-worthy pieces that keep their drops constantly in demand.