Patronage of fairly-used clothes, shoes, bane of indigenous fashion industry, says designer

Lagos, Feb. 1, 2018 (TNE) An emerging fashion designer, Emenike Nwosu, has identified the patronage of imported second-hand wears and shoes by most Nigerians as the major factor discouraging the creativity of our local designers.

“Fairly-used shoes and clothes imported from other countries are cheaper and as a result are more attractive for patronage,” Nwosu lamented on Thursday in Lagos.

He added, “Many Nigerians prefer to buy these fairly-used products because they cannot differentiate between good and durable designs as against low-quality products.”

Nwosu also identified irregular power supply and the lack of adequate funding as some of the major challenges currently facing the sector.

Nwosu said that the continued importation of fairly–used clothes and shoes will kill the initiative and creativity of the fashion industry and create unemployment.

“If these challenges are handled appropriately, it will reduce unemployment and the sector will contribute significantly to the foreign exchange earnings of the country.

He appealed to Nigerians to always go for highly-durable wears and shoes made in Nigeria as a way of patronising, promoting and encouraging the productions of made-in-Nigeria goods.

He said through that, Nigerians will be creating employment opportunities for others and boosting the nation’s GDP.

He appealed to the Federal Government’s regulatory agencies at the nation’s air and sea ports to ensure that Nigeria is not turned into a dumping ground for all manners of fairly-used clothes and shoes and other products.

Nwosu, however, said that the Nigerian fashion industry has begun to evolve with grand designs transcending what is obtainable in past decades despite the existing challenges.

He attributed this to Nigerian designers’ consistent improvement on their skills and creativity, making them to be able to compete favourably with their international contemporaries.

They have begun to task their intellects and creativity, and evolving acceptable and standard designs on a large scale and using a variety of textiles to make a bold statement in the society.

He said that many indigenous designers now use clothes to make bags, shoes and other accessories to complement their customers’ demands.

Nwosu said that he is always domesticating the various inspirations he is getting from attractive designs inside fashion columns of international magazines.

“Ideas I get from such catalogues help me come up with designs for customised shoes and bags.”

Nwosu said that fabrics ranging from Ankara, George and Lace, among others, can be used to create out-of-the-world designs.

“I use local fabrics to create designs to customer’s specifications.

“These often result in unique designs which boil down to one’s creativity, especially, when it concerns ladies’ apparels.”

Nwosu said that his designs have also been enjoying foreign patronage because some of his productions are being exported to some West African countries.

He said that he is at present an employer of labour with six permanent staff on his payroll outside engaging the services of auxiliary hands whenever the need arises.

“This is usually during festive periods when the workload is much and I have to meet up with some deadlines.”

He also said Nigerians into small-scale production of well designed clothes, bags, shoes and other fashion accessories are pushing the frontier in the exportation of the products thereby taking their business to the next level.”


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