With the evident growing market for streetwear in Nigeria, here are some streetwear brands you should get familiar with.
Streetwear culture can be traced back to the late 80s and early 90s, where it became popularized by celebrities, mostly hip-hop stars. Over time, we’ve seen this style grow to become more and more culturally relevant. Luxury and high street fashion brands have even tapped into the trend, creating limited-edition collections that are streetwear-inspired. The dictionary definition of streetwear reads as “fashionable, casual clothes”. Nevertheless, this definition takes away from what has become a multi-billion-dollar retail market, with roots in subcultures from the 1980s and 1990s, including graffiti, hip-hop, skate, and surf. We then began to see a rise in streetwear companies develop the idea of limited-edition capsule collections, now popularly known as "drops", using social media and product scarcity as marketing tools to promote brand exclusivity.
Though a niche area in our fashion scene, the Nigerian streetwear scene has found some mainstream acclaim. Street Souk, a streetwear convention created by Iretidayo Zaccheaus to call attention to the growing industry, is a platform steadily pushing this scene. Founded in 2018, the brand continues its mission to create a youth-centric hub of fashion, music, and culture with a specific dedication to promote upcoming and established streetwear brands in the country. The audience, and therefore the target market, is very young: mostly under 25.
The Nigerian streetwear culture is a slow but steadily growing space. With endless possibilities being presented in this new year, here are some local streetwear brands you should keep on your radar in 2021.
NBDA was established in 2015 on the premise of integrating architectural and sculptural ideologies into footwear design; it is a brand for futurists. The letters NBDA represent the journey of self-discovery and the search for a true meaning during one's time within the boundaries of planet Earth. The brand aims to build 3-dimensional structures to connect the human form to the sole. Their infatuation with footwear and our surroundings gives them the drive to create silhouettes that are both modern and timeless. Their collections are created upon youth and originality and can be styled effortlessly with a wide range of garments. Their products combine unique silhouettes with luxurious materials and are carefully handcrafted by a team of professionals.
WAFFLESNCREAM is Nigeria’s premier skateboarding company, which serves as the first hub for skate culture and extreme sports in the West African region. It was founded in 2012. They have been supporting, highlighting, and invigorating the local skate scene. Their designs are a fusion between Nigerian historical and cultural components with modern-day designs.
Vivendii was initially established as a blog to showcase the style of its founders – Jimmy Ayeni, Ola Badiru, and Anthony Oye. Over time, the trio decided to create their own brand that pays homage to their Nigerian roots. It was designed to be the brand that bridges the gap between high fashion and streetwear.
Founded in 2012 by Chris Afolabi, Uzi Atobatele (RIP), and Mubarak Olapade, the Nigerian-Canadian brand was created to redefine the consumer habit in fashion in Africa and to create a comfortable yet authentic interpretation of streetwear while creating each article of clothing with a definition of a culture that is relatable with their target consumer base. In 2020, in collaboration with NBDA, they decided to expand into footwear.
The brand was created in 2018 by Yinka Ash, and this brand is self-described as the enlightened millennial's expression of style. The brand was established to redefine luxury avant-garde essentials by creating limited merchandise. The brand has built a reputation for innovative textiles and youthful aesthetics. Having clothed celebrities like Naira Marley, Davido, and Toke Makinwa, the brand has amassed a cult-like following.
It was created in 2015 by Asiafa Oghenefego Eloho David and has consistently solidified its position as one of Nigeria’s foremost streetwear brands. The brand encompasses what the 21st-century Nigerian reality should encompass with references and promises made for our great nation’s formation. They recently expanded into denim and released their collection last year.
Ugo Anyamele created the brand in 2018. It is an indigenous clothing brand centered around the youthful rebellious nature that denim has represented over 100 years. Their denim is creatively chopped and cut into standard denim jeans silhouettes to create fresh and eye-catching designs that give their customers an edge when they step out. They are very concerned with the state of fashion and the negative environmental impact which fashion is creating, with a commitment to minimizing environmental impact by using/reworking vintage/condemned jeans to give it new life and keep from being added to the vicious cycle of fast fashion.