In 2015 when many other Nigerian fashion labels were downsizing, Toluwaloju Olowofoyekuh’s Toju Foyeh opened its flag ship store and released a diffusion line, proving that she has as much business savvy as she does creative flair. Seven years in the making, and Toju Foyeh is only starting to reap the benefits of a long and complicated.
Starting her label in 2008 after years of informal work in the Nigerian fashion industry, Foyeh has proven herself a true player in Nigeria’s niche evening wear market. She gained prominence when she began designing bespoke pieces for her one time muse, Tiwa Savage, when the singer’s career had only begun to take off.
Before long, Toju Foyeh was the go-to designer for celebrities Toke Makinwa, MoCheddah and Eku Edewor. Taking time out between her degrees to study fashion in Milan, Toju’s work has veered from easy wear to couture work, focusing on detail and construction. Toju Foyeh has shown in all the major fashion weeks in Nigeria since debuting at the now discontinued Arise Fashion Week in 2011.
The brand’s pieces have been featured in editorials for WOW! Magazine, Genevieve, Today’s Woman and Mania magazine. In 2012 her work was recognized with an award from the Future Awards Africa in the best designer category. Over the years there have been many accusations of uncomfortable similarities between her work and that of several high profile international designers, perhaps the only mar on an otherwise stellar collections. But as no international label has come forward to lay an official complaint, we would prefer to attribute this to the circularity of fashion and repetitive cycles, trends and silhouettes.
While she continues to create collections that are accessible, the bulk of her commissions lie in creating bespoke masterpieces for celebrities and private clientele, a field she has all but dominated.
With her SS16 collection, Toju expands the scope of her brand, electing to debut an exclusive bridal collection from Toju Foyeh bridals. The collection is marked by it’s elaborate headpieces and expertly constructed dresses in lace, chiffon and damask. Relying heavily on ruffled skirts to provide volume for corseted bodices, the Toju Foyeh brand changes tack without losing the elements that made it great in the first place.