Fashion Souk Summer Sales 2022
NB: All pictures and content displayed here are copyrights of DeCritic. These images taken at the Fashion Souk event require that permission be obtained to make any use of them. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event review by: Emmanuel Okonkwo, Chiamaka Ezeonwuka, and Oreoluwa Joseph
That fateful Saturday morning, the 9th of July 2022, it rained cats and dogs and we were cut between taking a trip to the Fashion Souk at Harbour Point or visiting a staff of ours who was down. Our staff prevailed. But the next day, Sunday 10 July 2022 was the d-day, and we set sail for Harbour Point at 4 Wilmont Point Road, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria to see for ourselves the truth of the rumoured Fashion Souk vendors in Nigeria.
Like bees rushing for honey, so were the cars on the ground. Families, peer groups, girlfriends, and lovers, came storming the event with their colourful dresses and fashions, after all, it is called the Fashion Souk.
The 6th Edition of the Fashion Souk Summer Sale (2022), was at least an 80% success. With over 130 SMEs registered to exhibit their products and services, and with over 5000 attendees (by our calculations), vendors were able to be seen by potential customers and there was time for proper bonding and sales conversion. That was the uniqueness of this Polaris Bank-sponsored fashion Souk event over GTB Fashion Week.
Also present were food vendors in the food court to provide food for our stomachs and drink for our taste.
Of all the vendors present, here are the ones that cut our eyes.
Blends and Blings at Fashion Souk:
This vendor houses a whole lot of quality-lasting perfumes. She also personalises perfumes as a value-added service. That way, you can get the name or picture of the person you wish to gift the perfume to, and have it placed on the perfume container. My favourites are the Korede and Oud Raw Passion perfume. Oud is not the signature of Blends and Blings, but the Korede is its own masterpiece – its pride signature.
We are not sure if the exhibition spelling of the brand is correctly done. However, we traced the vendors to this Instagram handle with the title blendsnblingz.
Our next stop was… drum rolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll………………
This is one of those super underpraised heroes in Nigeria, doing the hard work of getting quality lethal from Africa and painstakingly manufacturing quality shoes, sanders and slippers. St Davids has been around for over 20 years now and has been the secret shop for elites and the middle class. Shame on all of you for not disclosing!
Do you know that St Davids shoes are much more original than the counterfeit Gucci Shoes you find around? So we took the pain of examining Gucci Shoes (which by the way 80% of the ones you find around are fakes), side by side with St Davids, and we found that:
- St Davids leather is original
- St Davids finishing is more elegant and sustainable
- St Davids shoes are more comfortable, and most especially,
- St Davids shoes will last longer.
The downside, however, is that most of the foreign pirated shoes in Nigeria are cheaper. St Davids shoes may be a bit higher for the average man (ranging from 35-90k). But hey, consider the quality work put in and the sourcing of materials. We interviewed one of the Partners who had this to say:
“The aim of our brand is to provide premium quality and affordable footwear. If we look at the foreign brands, about 65% of the brand is the name. Branding is a psychological thing. Apart from the name, there is also the product. If the product is good, it justifies the name. Ibe founded St Davids and I, Segun, joined. When the brand started in 1999 we started with a leather key holder. Now we have grown to this point. Let me say this – if you have one good shoe, it will last longer than all other inferior shoes. I can comfortably give anyone a 10year guarantee on St Davids shoes. We have been psychologically enslaved for too long in this country. There is nothing in Gucci that we are not doing here. We source our leather from Ethiopia and Kano who send their leather abroad to be refined. We make sure that we make use of the best quality and make it last. One mistake we make here is to look at any sector as small. The leather industry is huge. Westerners are not necessarily more intelligent than us, but they pay attention to details. We produce our brand and we produce for others too. All you need to get is a brand and give us what you need, and we will produce. That is the meaning of the word Designers.”
St Davids is located at Local Government, 28 Barikisu Iyede St, Yaba 100001, Lagos, Nigeria. Or see St Davids Instagram.
Almost competing with St Davids is:
Zoba Collections at Fashion Souk
This lady came all the way from Alaba-Ojo Lagos, to the Fashion Souk Summer Sales. Her smile and footwear cut our eyes and we decided to walk into her stand.
She makes footwear and belts all by herself. She came with her friend or sister and brother to support her. Her brother also makes perfumes. It would seem that creativity and hustle are from the family gene.
Zoba Collections is alive on Instagram, and you can reach out to make an order.
So, we were hungry and extremely famished from the interviews and ghost shopping, but then something happened. Our eyes cut the beautiful pride of Nigerian fabrics added to Leather. The result was the birth of beautiful bags, shining bright. Oreoluwa and Chiamaka almost bludgeoned Emmanuel to purchase some for them.
O Nath Signature at Fashion Souk
These beautiful handbags were made by @o_nathsignature. The Queen herself was elegantly dressed in those beautiful fabrics and the statement was made – I am the Queen of African Handbags.
Her name is Precious, the creative director of O Nath Signatures. The Ankara bags are made from Ankara Fabrics and Aso Oke. Precious tells us that her materials are sourced from local markets majorly from Mushin Lagos, and the gold chains are imported from China. Precious also offers free tutorials and paid tutorials, and she lives online waiting for the next purchaser. Reach out or see more.
There were a lot of clothiers at the event, but TOPCEEBLINGS caught our attention. Partly because of the location, just by the exit point of the exhibition venue, so we were headed out, but we couldn’t but stop to admire the unique female pieces that were exhibited. The CEO, Mrs Tope Jacobs, while taking us on a tour of her stand, said that it was her second year exhibiting at the event, and it was so successful last year, that she had to come back again. In her words, “I wish I had participated earlier”. When asked about how her pieces were so unique, she said she loves making statements with fashion, and one way to stand out is to be different, and this transcends to the way her pieces are sourced.
Her lovely apparel can be checked out at @topceeblings!
Just a few steps forward, we were spellbound by a name. Struck by the lightening of the name our eyes were fixed, our jaws raised, and our cheeks widened. The marvel was:
The catch was the name! At first, we thought there was some sort of medical craft to the fabric, lol, but after a chat with one of the ladies at the stand, Praise, it is just what it is, literally, a dentist who has a speciality for Ankara fabrics.
The fact that the owner of the store was unavoidably absent, did not steer the determined ladies from doing justice to the brand. The amazement was how Ankara was waived into so much design. It was Ankara everything, from top to bottom! Pant sets, Adire kimonos, chiffon kimono sets and Ankara prints. They were so good, they looked like they were imported.
It was amazing to see how women were successful in both their professional jobs and their side hustles as well. If you doubt this, visit her page @theankaradentist, where she doesn’t just educate us on good oral hygiene, but also sells the best of Ankara products! It was a breath of fresh air to have visited her stand, and she hopes to be there in person, in the Fashion Souk December edition.
Apart from the above favourites, there were other vendors on-site, all making bold statements and boosting the African pride. Security too was on standby and almost everyone who came was happy and satisfied. We will leave you with the pictures to tell the remainder of the stories.