That it keeps getting better and better every year would obviously be an understatement, as GTBank has once again raised the bar, yet to be surpassed
That it keeps getting better and better every year would obviously be an understatement, as GTBank has once again raised the bar, yet to be surpassed on the side of the divide by any institution or organisation, on how to put up a spectacular fashion and beauty event. For four consecutive years, the banking institution has proved that it has what it takes to compete favourably with any fashion event on the international scene.
At this year’s just concluded edition, the two-day consumer-focused fair and free business platform, which held at the GT Centre, Plot 1, Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Victoria Island, succeeded in showcasing some of Africa’s, London and New York’s finest designs to a global audience. Attendees were treated to an exciting collection of fashion moments like fashion, beauty and entrepreneurial master classes, fashion retails and enthralling runway shows to end the flurry of each day’s activities.
Here are highlights from the two-day fashion event.
The Master Classes
Facilitated by renowned fashion and beauty experts, the master classes provided a platform for ideas to be shared and nurtured while also providing fashion entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to learn from global industry leaders and experienced brands. Relevant topics addressing challenges and opportunities, fashion entrepreneurship, growth and profitability, physical and e-commerce retailing, fashion blogging, fashion journalism etc were discussed.
The speakers at the master classes were:
The Ogidi women
Considered to be masters of their craft, the Ogidi women demonstrated their expertise on aso oke weaving, to an audience eager to learn how this piece of traditional item that has since become a fashion staple, is made. This includes the different techniques used and how its various designs are achieved. Little wonder they are considered one of the most prominent custodians of the aso oke tradition.
Huishan Zhang: The Chinese-born and Dior haute couture-trained designer Huishan Zhang, at his master class, shared his fashion experiences as well as revealing who he really is behind of the glamorous life of a designer, to his audience. engage with audience know his story behind all of the glamorous life of a designer. The London based designer whose self-named luxury brand is stocked worldwide at stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Harvey Nichols, Browns, amongst others, also touched on how he is influenced by his Chinese heritage in his craftsmanship and design to produce typically feminine, refined silhouettes.
Kim Kimble:Hair stylist to the stars such as Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Zendaya, just to mention a few, Kim Kimble took time to share her story; her background and how she broke into the beauty industry. She also demonstrated a behind the scenes of what a typical photo shoot is like before all the glamour is seen, with a hair model. This is in addition to the different aspects of styling hair as well as hairstyles for every occasion.
Adesuwa Aighewi and Millen Magese: Both professional models, the duo of both Nigerian and Tanzanian origin, dissected to the audience what it takes to stand out in the modelling world in this era of social media.
Law Roach: The well celebrated American stylist who likes to refer to himself as an image architect, not only spoke on how to build a career as a fashion stylist, but also how to be one’s own stylist without breaking the bank.
Roksanda IIincic: One of London’s most celebrated fashion designers whose designs have been worn by Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, spoke about how to make elegant and modest dresses that show off the feminine silhouette without necessarily being vulgar.
David Au: He is the Editor in Chief of Vogue, Hong Kong who has had years of experience in huge retail chains. Not only did he speak about how he made the seamless transition from retail to fashion journalism, he also gave insight into how consumer behavior impacts on purchases.
Sir John Barnett: The celebrity makeup artist behind some of Beyonce’s most iconic looks who also doubles as a TV personality, was in his elements at his master class giving out makeup tips as well as a live demonstration on how to create a flawless facial glow.
Natalie Kingham: A London based fashion buyer, Natalie Kingham dished on how to become a fashion buyer as well as what it takes to work in fashion at her masterclass.
Paula Cademartori: Known for her eponymous luxury accessories line, famous for its iconic metal buckle, Paula Cademartori at her master class spoke about how one can style street wears in such a way as to make it look luxurious.
The Retail Experience
This year, GTBank wasn’t paying lip service with their recurring theme, ‘Promoting Enterprise’ as over 100 fashion and beauty brands were given an opportunity to showcase their products and services to a large and diverse audience of consumers, fashion aficionados and industry professionals. The bank did good on demonstrating its commitment to growing SMEs, particularly in the fashion and beauty sector in a sustainable manner that is not driven by profits but focused on empowering and growing the economy. None of the over 100 brands at the fashion event paid a dime to participate. The retail side of the fashion event created an ultimate fashion experience.
The Crafts Market
Besides the regular headlining of renowned batik and textile designer, Nike Davies-Okundaye, the crafts market was an experience on its own what with the many beautifully designed accessories and clothings using locally sourced and centuries age old materials such as adire, batik, raffia, beads, cowries, shells etc.
The Fashion Presentation
While the master classes were in full swing, four Nigerian designers put up a presentation of their exclusive and well curated designs. While Nola Black and Studio Imo had their presentation on day 1 of the fashion event, Viera Amber and DNA by Iconic Invanity showcased theirs on the second day of the fashion event.
Nola Black’s presentation was a monochrome affair.
Studio Imo, an artisanal knitwear brand showcased its bespoke designs which were aesthetically appealing.
According to Viera Amber the collection she presented which she aptly named OVA-REACT, was aimed at standing up for women’s rights and justice in a confident and fearless manner as opposed to a hateful approach or an indirect advocacy for matriarchy.
DNA by Iconic Invanity’s SS20 presentation was a colour popping affair.