5 designers leading Nigeria's hyperlocal fashion revolution
traders sit by the side of their boxed compartment stores at the New Alade market in Ikeja, Lagos, the majority of sales are on imported clothing and textiles. Tailors unroll reams of Dutch wax fabric, known as ankara print, across their cutting desks, while sales girls hang racks of colorful outfits originally designed to European tastes.Nigeria was once home to Africa’s biggest textile industry with 180 mills employing more than 450,000 people in the 1970s and early 1980s, according to the Cornell Alliance for Science. As of 2017, there were just 25 in operation, per a 2017 review of the sector by the Oxford Business Group. Cheap imports, combined with weakening infrastructure, have driven Nigeria’s textile artisans to the edge of collapse. Now, many fabrics recognized globally as “African prints” are mass-produced overseas.