A Fashion Insider’s Guide to Nigeria’s Style Capital
As far as fashion capitals go, we know exactly what’s around the bend—from restaurants, watering holes, boutiques, exhibits, we’ve zeroed in on our favorites and locked down our staples. However, when it comes to Lagos—the bustling and vibrant style capital of Nigeria, which is not only the fastest-growing economy in Africa, but quickly emerging as one of its most fashionable epicenters—we still need to be clued in. With Lagos Fashion and Design Week having kicked off just this week, we tapped one of the city’s most stylish denizens, creative strategy consultant Tokini Peterside, for an in-the-know survey of the local sites and attractions. Everything from the best boutiques and the country’s top designers who count Lupita Nyong’o as a fan to even where to order the best plate of joloff rice—by all accounts, a local must—is here.
Name: Tokini Peterside
Occupation: I’m a strategy consultant to creative entrepreneurs. I’ve worked with clients in fashion, design, food, the arts, and even in film.
Neighborhood: Victoria Island
Favorite Nigerian designers:
Apart from Maki Oh, I love the easy print dresses designed by Republic of Foreigner and Grey, which are designed by two of my best friends, Carmen Sutherland and Rukky Ladoja. I also really like two menswear designers, Kelechi Odu and Kenneth Ize, and there’s a really fun accessories label, Post-Imperial, that does silk bow ties and pocket squares for men in traditional Nigerian prints.
Best local marketplace to pick up Nigerian fabrics and jewelry:
Lekki Market has got lots of locally made jewelry, and other interesting trinkets to buy.
Favorite local boutiques:
I’m in love with Alara, the concept store in Victoria Island that I worked with Reni Folawiyo over several years to create. Alara features the best-known global fashion brands alongside really special design pieces from all over the African continent. My favorite pieces there at the moment are the Maasai beaded purses by AnTassia from Kenya.
I love Stranger, a concept boutique in Lekki developed by husband and wife duo Yegwa Ukpo and Bibi Ukpo. Stranger has become a watering hole for all the wandering young artists and creative souls in Lagos, and now even has work spaces for them to hang out and share ideas in between mouthfuls of cold-brewed coffee and yummy pastries—their white chocolate and marshmallow cake is to die for!
Favorite new restaurant:
RSVP in Victoria Island serves jumbo prawns, roast chicken, and slow-cooked lamb amongst other things, in a chic but cozy atmosphere. They’ve got really yum cocktails like the Naija Spritz made with prosecco and fresh oranges.
Best place to grab a plate of jollof rice:
For jollof rice, I go to Terra Kulture in Victoria Island. I’ll usually pair it with their delicious spicy ofada stew and sweet plantains, with several cups of sweet-and-sour palm wine.
I can usually be found at Art Café in Victoria Island. I love their banana bread and frothy cappuccinos. On the lower floor they have a cavern-like art shop and gallery selling sculptures and jewelry from all over the continent. I also really love the Orchid Bistro in Ikeja which does one of the best apple crumbles on the planet!
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