Among the slew of emerging labels that pop up each design cycle, seeking to carve themselves a niche in the highly competitive Nigerian fashion industry, very few actually come out the gate running. Emerging label Tubo seems to be one of them.
First gaining attention for a commission for Chioma Igwe’s (wife of style influencer Noble Igwe) bespoke traditional wedding dress, the label went on to quickly become a favourite among starlets, dressing Jane Michael Ekanem and Bolanle Olukanni.
Stunning #tubobride @chiomaotisi … #Chobs2016 2nd outfit by @tubo__ #3in1 Hand Embellished Blouse X Skirt X Wrap Skirt… This is what traditional Blouse and #2wrapper looks like to Us 💚💚💚 Styled by @janemichaelekanem @stylevitae @bellanaijaweddings @nigerianwedding @africansweetheartweddings @ms_asoebi
Riding on this momentum, now could not have been a better time to release the label debut ready to wear collection, a catalogue of ultra-fem, superbly tailored transformer dresses. Right off the bat you can tell that the creative director of Tubo has extensive experience in tailoring. There is an attention to detail in this collection that is lacking in most debut collections. The cuts are professional, some are even exciting and the choice to forgo distinctive prints for superlative design pays off for the brand, most of the time.
Tubo touches on many of the huge trends of the season in Nigeria, off-shoulder blouses that we’ve seen everywhere from Lanre Da Silva to high street brand Rococo, and the exaggerated flouncy peplumed wrap blouse that high street brand Omowumi Ak basically staked her entire collection on.
But Tubo’s main design quirk in this collection is transformative pieces, particularly skrousers. There are a plethora of skrousers in the collection with detachable/reworkable skirt panels. It is a mixed blessing, as it works well in some of the pieces and proves a bulky distraction in others. In some cases, the skirt flap should have totally been done away with. But in the larger scheme of things, this is only a minor peeve.
Tubo truly excites us, and this is only their debut collection. We cannot wait to see Tubo in three or four seasons, when the design team behind the label no longer feels the need to augment their stellar work with gimmicks. That’d be quite the revelation.
Styling: The Style Infidel – @thestyleinfidel
Hair: Hair by Sleame – @hairbysleame
Model: Uju Marshall – @_ujumarshall
Photography: Emmanuel Oyeleke – @emmanueloyeleke