Top Nigerian designer, Deola Sagoe has been speaking on her amazing, quarter century-spanning career, ‘her Africa’ and the role she’s played in changing the perception of African fashion.
The talent, whose family name carries a forward-thinking creativity – Ms Sagoe’s eldest daughters, Teni and Tiwa having launched their line Clan last year – has been interviewed by Elle Magazine South Africa, telling writer Jabulile Sopete that her interest in fashion came from;
“…A place where the African fashion story wasn’t being told in its entirety, seeing as it was being told through the eyes of European designers who would pick up on more prevalent parts of the African culture during visits for inspiration… I felt there was a deeper story within, itching to be unveiled.
The popular Maasai culture was indeed striking, but the Africa I was living in, my Africa, was going through a renaissance, which was characterised by an uncanny and quite contemporary combination of Western and African silhouettes.”
The designer – who will feature in a 6-part documentary series by the Al Jazeera channel called My Nigeria, which Deola said aims “to highlight the truth about Nigeria and change false or misguided perceptions and stereotypes” – is well know for her unique use of traditional fabrics, and explained to Elle that;
“African fabrics have a truly unique quality and I felt I had a very important role to play in changing the perception of African fashion and in economically empowering local artisans, which is why I have consistently worked with native Nigerian fabrics, such as Adire and Aso Oke, in every collection.
Komole, my own authentic answer to every Nigerian’s yearning for an original interpretation and crafting of lace, is original from conceptualisation to crafting to final creation. Komole is now justifiably associated with top-tier attire for every occasion.”
Such materials, which Deola developed herself, have formed some of the pieces in her Wings collection (see the lookbook here) and while we remain thirsty for more carefully crafted garments from the Sagoe brand, the talent revealed that her new collection;
“”Komole Kandids” is currently in the works and should be released sometime before the end of the year. I am particularly excited about this collection and it is quite close to my heart for a couple of reasons that I won’t disclose just yet… let’s keep an element of surprise!
I can, however, say this collection will unveil the ‘blue blood’ in, and speak to, every woman at any level or phase of her life and for any occasion she might have in mind.
In this ‘selfie’ age, everyday has its moments and everyday is an event, which you might want to capture on camera and keep for a lifetime.”
We at SPICE look forward to its unveiling and the documentary on Al Jaheera. In the meantime, see our short documentary interview with Deola Sagoe below, before airing dates for My Nigeria are confirmed.
Image source: Elle.co.za, Okayafrica.com, Bellanaija.com