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Paris, Milan, London and New York are the “Big Four” of global fashion. Everything that happens in the world of fashion, from the disruption of old fashion styles to the setting of new trends, often begins or at least take shape in these cities. Of course, there are other major players, of which Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo, São Paulo and Los Angeles quickly come to mind. However, one thing that is glaring within the global fashion space, is the total absence of any African city in the top echelon of fashion destinations. Lagos can change this narrative.

Lagos has just as much characteristics to be a global fashion city as any in Europe or the Americas. There is hardly any nationality or culture across the world that does not have some form of representation in the city of over 20 million residents. Richly diverse in culture and taste, Lagos also has the economic wherewithal to drive the emergence of a global fashion power.

The city accounts for over 60% of the industrial and commercial activity in Africa’s largest economy. With a GDP of over $90 billion, its economy is actually the 7th largest in Africa, bigger than that of Ghana and Kenya combined.

In spite of the enthralling prospects highlighted above, Lagos has thus far been unable to fulfill its potential to become a global fashion city. To understand the reason for this, one only needs to look at what the established fashion cities have done that the former is yet to do.

Globally, the estimated net worth of the fashion industry is $1.2 trillion, more than a quarter of that sum is contributed by New York, Paris, Milan and London. Apart from having very strong economies and a large cosmopolitan populations, these cities also share the common trait of having strong corporate involvement which has powered their fashion industries.

Mercedes, Audi and Cadillac are some of the global brands that have deeply invested in making the big four of fashion what they are today.

For eight years, New York Fashion Week was known officially as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week; the luxury car maker remains the title sponsor of fashion weeks in Moscow, Berlin, Sydney and Istanbul, as well as one of the leading sponsors of London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks. Mercedes-Benz and Lexus are not the only brands involved: Cadillac threw its weight behind the menswear scene in New York while Singapore’s biannual fashion week was known officially as Audi Fashion Festival.

Although Lagos has come a long way in improving its fashion standing, it is obviously in great need of the kind of corporate touch that made the big four flourish. This is why the recent announcement of GTBank to host a fashion and design fair is such a welcome development for Lagos.

According to the Bank, the event will bring together the most promising, talented and recognised fashion designers, brands and retail enterprises from across Nigeria and abroad to showcase latest fashion trends and products to a large and diverse audience of consumers, fashion aficionados and industry professionals.

The GTBank Fashion Weekend will be headlined by some of the world’s top fashion personalities, globally recognised brand owners and trend setters as well as locally renowned designers and style authorities. Attendees will be treated to a series of fashion events such as Entrepreneurial and Fashion MasterClasses, glamorous Runway Shows and Retail Exhibitions of cool and cutting-edge designs, all of which are geared towards driving the growth and productivity of Nigeria’s fashion industry.

The event is part of the Bank’s initiative to strengthen small businesses in key economic sectors through non-profit consumer focused fairs and capacity building initiatives that serve to boost their expertise, exposure and business growth.

Perhaps, while the government searches for an elixir to the current economic woes being faced by the country, the fashion industry might just be one of the palliatives we needto revive an ailing economy as seen in Paris, London, New York and Milan.

In UK, the industry provides over 797,000 jobs and host some of the biggest fashion brands in the world such as Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith, Next, Marks & Spenser to mention a few,  making it the largest employer of all the UK’s creative industries.  New York City on the other hand is home to over 900 world renowned fashion companies in the US and provides approximately 180,000 employees with $11 billion in annual wages, generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue each year. Given these impressive economic figures from the big fashion cities, it can be easily imagined what the impact of turning Lagos into a global fashion city will be on the Nigerian economy.

FASHION

It’s Almost Here! Are You Ready For Nigeria’s Biggest Lifestyle Fair and Music Concerts? [READ DETAILS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Style by Zenith 2.0 will hold on the 29th of November till 1st December, 2019 at the Eko Energy City (By Eko Atlantic) Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island Lagos. To register, simply visit www.zenithbank.com/style

See video below

 

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LIFESTYLE

Style By Zenith: Zenith Bank Calls For Model Auditions [APPLY WITHIN]

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The audition for male and female models that will participate in the much-anticipated Style by Zenith 2.0 fashion shows is scheduled to hold as follows:

Date: 15th of November, 2019

Time: 9am prompt

Venue: Balmoral Hall, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

Find out more details in the accompanying fliers.

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LIFESTYLE

GTBank Fashion Weekend 2019: Get Ready For Africa’s Biggest Fashion Experience [VIDEO]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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This November, industry leaders, style connoisseurs, and fashion enthusiasts from across the globe will converge in Lagos, Nigeria for the 4th edition of the GTBank Fashion Weekend. Holding Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of November 2019 at the GTCentre, Plot 1, Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, the 2-day event will put a spotlight on Africa’s emerging fashion industry whilst showcasing the talent and creativity of indigenous small businesses in the fashion space.

Since 2016, the GTBank Fashion Weekend has been at the forefront of promoting enterprise in Africa’s rapidly growing fashion industry. Over the years, the event has brought together renowned fashion experts and personalities to interact with hundreds of thousands of young Africans passionate about fashion and entrepreneurship. This year, the GTBank Fashion Weekend, which is free to attend, will feature over 30 distinguished fashion leaders, designers, and industry experts, whilst providing more than 130 indigenous small businesses with free stalls to showcase and sell Africa’s finest ensemble of apparel and fashion accessories.

Attendees at the 2019 GTBank Fashion Weekend will be treated to an exciting repertoire of fashion moments, from fashion and entrepreneurial masterclasses facilitated by internationally renowned fashion experts to enthralling runway shows that will present the latest in fashion styles and design trends. There will also be pop-up stands where talented indigenous designers will display their works and interact with some of Africa’s most passionate fashionistas, an Arts & Crafts Village that showcases the beauty and dexterity of traditional African design.

Commenting on the 2019 GTBank Fashion Weekend, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “Africa is home to some of the most creative fashion talents on the planet, and we are delighted and proud to provide them with a global platform that connects them to the world. As we work towards the 4th edition of the biggest fashion showcase in Africa, our goal is to not only showcase the wealth of talent, innovation and enterprise that abound in Africa’s fashion space, but to also grow the continent’s contribution to the global fashion industry by empowering budding entrepreneurs at home with everything they need to thrive on the world stage.

He further stated that “At the heart of the GTBank Fashion Weekend is our vision of promoting enterprise in industries where we believe that we can help small businesses grow and dominate. In fashion, as well as in food and the creative industry, we see not just the amazing talents and passion of our people, but how, by championing their entrepreneurial spirit, we can enrich millions of lives, uplift communities and grow our economy.”

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The Bank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality, and innovation. The Bank is also going beyond the traditional understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility as corporate philanthropy by intervening in key economic sectors through non-profit consumer-focused fairs and capacity building initiatives for small businesses.

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