In the last 12 months, a number of young Nigerians have proven themselves more than fit to compete with many of your favourite fashionistas on the international scene. Their Instagram accounts have grown to be blessings to our feeds and their sartorial choices now make for the pages of our fashion Bible.
These 20-something year olds (save for Adekunle Gold who is a little over 30) each dominated fashion conversations with their impeccable personal style in 2017, and the year in history will be kind to them, appaz!
It wasn’t only about the outfits and brands Denola chose in 2017, it was mostly about how he wore them. Very many young men step out wearing the most basic tees over cropped pants and suede shoes and very many young men get lost in the crowd. But Denola is able to pull off the simplest look in the most elegant fashion because of one thing: the Denola factor.
This style blogger/doctor made nearly all best dressed lists this year and the reasons are not farfetched. Akin Faminu is the quintessence of ambition, excellence and pure class; and he doesn’t have to say this to anyone in words, it’s simply by what he wears. In 2017, Akin Faminu took prints and clean-cut suits to sky level and we’re not surprised he was featured in more than a few fashion editorials for some of the biggest brands. Talk about influence!
We like to think that Ini made louder statements in fashion than in acting in 2017 and that’s not all bad. If it’s cinched at the waist, it’s got bell sleeves and oversized ruffles, then it’s most likely Ini. She had a major year in fashion in these parts, no doubt and her recurring collaborations with designer, Fablane by Derin yielded great results.
True to her Instagram bio, Hafsah is her own kind of beautiful. Her style is non-conformist, unapologetic and passes the deeply important message: You do not have to show skin to slay. Hafsah channeled some of 2017’s biggest trends – turbans, fanny packs, pyjamas, athleisure etc. – and taught the rest of us how to wear them and do it right. We will definitely be setting up camp somewhere next to her Instagram page come 2018.
There’s no method to Timini’s style, we believe. Redefining every fashion item that he wears comes natural to this actor and we’ve repeatedly questioned how he manages to look debonair in every outfit. Timini ticks all the boxes: from knee-ripped jeans to track suits to agbada, he can go from Prince Charming to baby boy to Yoruba demon with little or no effort. It’s no wonder he’s style goals for many young men in these parts. Ask your boyfriend!
We’re enamoured of the actress for one thing: She can go from girl next door to red carpet hot in less than a split second. Jemima Osunde sort of reminds us of the beautiful, graceful Genevieve Nnaji. We consider it absolutely amazing that a celebrity can be unassuming and never afraid to embrace her natural looks while simultaneously slaying to the nines when necessary.
She’s Your Melanin Godmother that isn’t afraid to wear her hair in blonde, regardless what they say about blonde hair being inappropriate for dark-skinned girls. With a minimalist Instagram that is curated to perfection, Kehinde Smith wears everything with a twist. The type that takes a fusion of keenness and patience to learn. Why? For Kehinde, it’s not in the outfits but in the details.
The Orange Nerd of the Orange Culture is his own biggest model, fan and customer. Bayo has often described his personal style as simple and we agree with him; but his ability to singlehandedly rewrite the menswear narrative in Nigeria with his androgynous brand is very telling. In 2017, he fully embodied his brand sporting pieces from his various, internationally accepted collections.
Idia is picture perfect and every designer’s dream muse. From Emmy Kasbit to Wana Sambo and Iconic Invanity to MileMosun, Idia set literal fire to every red carpet she stepped on in 2017. For everyone who seemed in doubt, she set things straight with her aso ebi translation for Banky W and Adesua Etomi’s traditional wedding in November.
Fashion history in Nigeria will be most kind to Adekunle Gold and 2017 was the year we confirmed this. The gift that keeps on giving, Adekunle boldly flies the Nigerian flag everywhere he goes. His signature look features adire coats, shirts, trousers, berets, hats worthy of princes and accessories that pay homage to Yoruba tradition. We’ve searched and we’ve found that his style can hardly be successfully recreated and this is because Adekunle Gold doesn’t just pair these outfits, he’s intensely deliberate. Go figure!