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Wednesday, November 3, 2021


Nigeria as a country is rapidly re-engineering current trends in industry best practices.

Innovation and creativity is seeing the light of day with a diverse spectrum of transdisciplinarity and Entrepreneurship skills that has disrupted product offerings, services and activities in the creative economy thereby enabling strategic vision and playing an important role in economic growth.

The Creative Industry in Akwa Ibom State is sitting pretty, gearing towards the new Industry trend of digitalization and modernization by enabling networking opportunities, fostering creativity, driving innovation with community collaboration and scaling development in a robust and evolving ecosystem. 

Last weekend, De Angelo Cafe Uyo recorded a sterling influence and applause to the entertainment industry arising from the just concluded Fashion 87th “HIGH FASHION PARTY” which featured policymakers and Entertainment juggernauts who came from the nooks and crannies of the country to grace the occasion. 

The event was organized by House of BoraH and Aniferaz Couture to promote culture, tourism, showcase innovation and creativity, enhance community collaboration with the intent to proffer solutions to enterprise interface. Critically, the interface among creativity, culture, economics and technology, as expressed in the ability to create and circulate intellectual capital has the potential to generate income, jobs and export earnings while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development.This is what the emerging creative economy has already begun to do as a leading component of economic growth, employment, trade, innovation and social cohesion in most advanced economies.

An example of the benefits of an industry ecosystem is the Silicon Valley Startup ecosystem in the United States of America where Tech giants are headquartered. Apple, Facebook, Google whose products basically run our lives today were birthed here. Hundreds of young entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas settled here to implement their ideas, tinker, grow and build their companies. Investors poured in cash which led to the success of some of the companies. With access to funding, techpreneurs got the lead-way to experiment on a variety of products and services. This template has resulted in a lot of benefits both to the country of America and to the startup businesses. These Silicon valley businesses are amongst the most profitable companies in the world, boosting the GDP and impacting positively on the economy of the USA. Their long-range of innovative products have solved major and everyday tech problems for users around the world, and also, their financial packages for their workers has sustained lives and careers.

Silicon Valley tech startups are famous for pay packages heavily weighed with equity. According to Glassdoor, the median salaries at the region’s highest-paying tech companies range from $133000 to $171,000. The best and the brightest software engineers and developers that flood the region are in high demand as tech companies compete for their skill sets. So this template throws up tech founders, venture capitalists, and real estate moguls.

This is the same template that initiatives like Fashion 87th is positioned to scale bringing together fashionpreneurs, creatives ,digipreneurs, entertainers etc, while fostering networking and collaboration within the ecosystem. Fashion designers, Models, Stylists, Graphic designers, Textile designers, Product developers, Creative directors, Production managers, Bloggers, Critics, Fashion buyers at the event had an opportunity to intermingle, compare and contrast notes, showcase their concepts, products and ideas and collaborate. 

This structuring and aggregation of the fashion industry in Akwa Ibom to run efficiently will scale whole sectors. The fashion industry in Nigeria is very profitable but faces many challenges including structural issues, lack of a sustainable market locally and capacity to operate at the global level.

According to Stears Business, Nigeria’s fashion has grown in size and sophistication, attracting global attention. Going by GDP data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the “textile, apparel and footwear” sector has averaged a growth of 17% since 2010. This rise has been fuelled by an increase in demand and initiatives like Fashion 87th that continue to edge Nigeria into the international fashion consciousness.

Clearly, the fashion industry and the players in Akwa Ibom are positional about taking up the International market share. Euromonitor suggests that the fashion industry in Nigeria is worth $4.7 billion, a low amount judging by the over 200 million population of Nigerians. For Akwa Ibom state, the market size is huge and consists of major players catering to the dressing and grooming needs of the population. 

Creative fashion MSMEs abound in different locations in the state, high scale and low scale events requiring fashion products are held across the state every other day. There is indeed an untapped fashion market the world needs to explore. 

In recent years, there have been an upsurge in entrepreneurial endeavours by young people in Akwa Ibom State supported by the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration  and a size-able segment of these pathfinders are in the fashion business. They are engaged as designers, shoemakers, milliners, tailors, creative directors, models etc. Herein lies the challenge and the need to aggregate these young entrepreneurs alongside the established veterans into an ecosystem of fashion workers while positioning the network for profitable global direction. Interestingly, via this network of creatives, the fashion talents in the state are identified, harnessed and groomed overtime to ensure their competitiveness in the global market. 

This is why fashion events like Fashion 87th “HIGH FASHION PARTY” are a plus to drive this shift. Events like this give brand exposure to the big, medium and small players in the industry to serve as a source of inspiration and driver of creative fashion expression.

If Nigeria must experience the much needed economic growth as the world diversifies away from crude oil, creative sector structuring must be in place to assist the players in the industry to scale.

The Fashion 87th event signaled a synergy as Government officials engaged in a networking session with creatives. They include:  Prince Akpabio: Honourable Commissioner for  Investment, Commerce and Industry, Orman Esin: Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Political Party Affairs Rt. Hon Anthony Akan, Ini Edo: Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Tourism Development and Meflyn Anwana: Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Entrepreneurial Development.

Fashion 87th hosted by Eno Jerry and Grand Prince Ita had in attendance entertainers and fashionistas including Uti, Kemen, Lybra, Janelle, Fortune Luke, Uduak Umoh, Ifiok Ikot, Snazzy, Veekee James, DJ Idills, Tilly of Reshape-me, Hypeman Kristen, Deejay Peejay, Nsikakabasi Isaac, Nsidibe Perfect Touch, Impulse, Alabaster luxury, Basigz, Maxycool De hypegod, Talino, Eyeswideshotng, Kiki, Julia beautycare, Who-kes, Sheila, Gentleman extraordinare, Davin, Obsession, Diamond Events and Prince Edet. 

The show was supported by RayScobar and a variety of fashion, lifestyle and entertainment brands including, House of Borah, Aniferaz, Cherries Beauty Studio, TruthMarket, Goldwire Production ,Emma Solution , Pixel Box, iOiFashion, Immortal studios, GtFox, Castle Event Lighting, Latonnes Signatures, DjJemmy, EvanMicky Photography, Verge, Kemcy Touch, Idealation Sound, Eyeswide Shot, EoDeez Glow, AMG Tailors and Legendary Dj Peejay.

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