The first week of December saw the first concession boutique from Africa Fashion Week London unveiled in Ikeja, Lagos, to current and prospective designers and members of the press. With an afternoon presentation by Ronke Ademiluyi, CEO and Founder of Africa Fashion Week London and Sinem Onabanjo, the S TWO PR publicist for AFWL, attended by journalists from publications such as Punch, Guardian and Vanguard, fashion bloggers, fashion professionals, Studio 29 was unveiled as the first in a chain of boutiques to open in 2013.
“Because we realized that a lot of the emerging fashion designers that showcased at Africa Fashion Week London did not have shops or stockists to stock their garments so as a team we came up with the idea to provide emerging designers a showroom and a retail space where they can stock their brands and sell them as well,” said Ademiluyi of Studio 29.
“Studio 29 ties in with the ethos of Africa Fashion Week London; Ronke’s vision was to create an international platform for African and African inspired designers from all around the world in terms of press, buyers and recognition from all over the world,” added Sinem Onabanjo of S TWO PR, “We do not want Studio 29 to be just a retail space but a one stop shop for designers; stocking here will not get you just retail space but also PR services from Africa Fashion Week London PR team, a venue for meetings, fittings, photo shoots and press days.”
Studio 29 is set to launch in February 2012 on 29 Opebi Road, Ikeja to be later followed by two more boutiques, in Lekki, Lagos, and London, UK respectively. Designers stocking at Studio 29 will also benefit from publicity and PR services provided by the AFWL publicity team. Further benefits include use of venue for fittings, meetings and photo shoots as well as regular press days organised by the Studio 29 team.
“I see this as an opportunity to get in touch with my clients who always ask me how they can get my garments here in Nigeria,” said Asake Ogoro of fashion label AsakeOge while young Abuja-based designer Stephanie Okeke of Sally Intiego mentioned the benefits to emerging designers of being stocked in the same retail space as more established designers.
Also present was Emeje Ufedojo, CEO of Violet Couture stocking with Studio 29, designers Uche Nnaji and Kola Kuddus, bloggers Abiola Aloba of Maestro Media and Shade Ladipo and Ghanaian model, singer and designer Deborah Vanessa.
The press day also saw the announcement of the dates for Africa Fashion Week London 2013 which will be held at Old Truman Breweries F Block from 1-3 August with Yinka Shonibare and Fifi Ejindu as the third edition patrons. Expected to showcase during the three-day event will be 100 designers and 100 exhibitors.
Currently stocking BebeGrafitti, Violet Couture, Sally Intiego, AsakeOge and Adebayo Jones, Studio 29 is taking requests from interested designers ahead of its February launch.