Why you should look forward to a phenomenal experience at the 2018 GT Bank Fashion Weekend

Why you should look forward to a phenomenal experience at the 2018 GT Bank Fashion Weekend

Having made inroads into the food and drink industry with its GT Bank Food and Drink Weekend, a food exhibition and sales event aimed at showcasing th

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Having made inroads into the food and drink industry with its GT Bank Food and Drink Weekend, a food exhibition and sales event aimed at showcasing the diverse angles of the food industry, as well as in the Arts sector with the launch of its Virtual Arts Gallery, ART 635, also aimed at reigniting a waning interest in African art and drive the growth and development of the local art industry, leading African bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, which has equally demonstrated its commitment to growing SMEs in the fashion sector, for two years and counting, is all set to replicate its magic with the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend.

When the first edition took place in 2016, many didn’t quite know what to expect, especially since it was the first time a bank would solely put up a huge fashion event on this side of the divide. But it was all for good. Both the first and second editions received very positive reviews nationally and internationally and the 3rd edition which is set to hold in Lagos on the 10th and 11th of November 2018, will not be any different. Not only is it expected to get much better in terms of impact, the two-day fashion event which will take place at Water Corporation drive, Oniru, Victoria island, Lagos, is set to create an ultimate fashion experience where most promising and talented fashion brands will showcase the latest fashion trends and products to a large and diverse audience of fashion consumers, fashion aficionados and industry professionals.

Having sponsored two of the country’s leading fashion events, The ARISE fashion week and The Lagos Fashion and Design Week, for a combined period of five years, as well as contributing to raising the international profile of African fashion through collaborations, including the Ndani installation at Selfridges, London and the ‘Double Club’ collaboration with PRADA, the annual GT Bank Fashion Weekend is set to leave an extensive footprint in the fashion industry. While the debut and second editions are used as reference points in fashion events, the upcoming third edition is all set to create an even better experience that is expected to linger long after the event ends.

This year’s event will be headlined by some of the world’s top fashion personalities, globally recognized brand owners, trend setters, as well as locally renowned designers and style authorities. Like in the last two editions, the fashion event will feature activities all themed around promoting enterprise while also addressing challenges and opportunities across the entire industry value chain.

Here are some of the things to expect at this year’s event:

The Master Classes
This is 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 expected at this year’s master classes are:
Kahlana Barfield:  A fashion insider, style savant and beauty correspondent who rose through the ranks of fashion journalism to become an authority and one of the most recognizable faces in the industry. A TV personality and style connoisseur, she is a regular on national television shows such as Today, Good Morning America, The View, Extra and Entertainment Tonight where she offers her expert insights on a wide range of topics. At the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend, she will be speaking on the topic, ‘Sticking to you plan A’.

Jay Manuel: He is well recognized for the energy and dynamism he brings in the fashion media space as a host, creative director, executive producer and judge on some of some of the hottest television shows such as The Style Networks’ makeover series, ‘Style Her Famous’ and ‘America’s Next Top Model’, ‘Style Rocks the Red Carpet’, ‘Fashion Police’ and coverage of glamorous red-carpet world of celebrity fashion and beauty at the Emmys, The SAG Awards, the Grammys, the Golden Globes and the Oscars. At the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend, he will be speaking on the topic, ‘Discover you’.

Dapper Dan: He is a street wear pioneer, designer and stylist who has styled some of the biggest names in entertainment from Big Daddy Kane to Mike Tyson to Eric B & Rakim, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Aaliyah, P.Diddy, Floyd Mayweather and many more. At the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend, he will be speaking on the topic, ‘Making a fashion statement’.


Fashion and Beauty Retail
GTbank in the first two editions didn’t paying lip service when they decided to go with the theme of the fashion event, ‘Promoting Enterprise’. It demonstrated its commitment to growing SMEs, particularly in the fashion sector, in a sustainable manner that is not driven by profits but focused on empowering and growing the economy via the retail aspect of the event. Promising and talented brands will be showcasing their products to a large and diverse audience of fashion enthusiasts who will be treated to the ultimate shopping experience. Last year, the over 80 brands selected, all ranging from  textile, clothing and apparel, ready to wear, footwear, jewellery and accessories, hair and beauty, crafts and many more, were not charged a fee to participate and this year won’t be any different.

The retail hub at the debut edition of GTBank Fashion Weekend


The Crafts Village
There has always been a crafts village since the inception of the GTBank Fashion Weekend usually headlined by the renowned batik and textile designer, Nike Davies-Okundaye, who is also the founder of Nike Arts Gallery, one of the biggest art galleries in South West Nigeria. This year, participants and visitors will get the opportunity to watch live, the expertise with which artisans transform materials into fashion master pieces such as adire, tye and dye and batik, absolutely free. Indigenous accessories will also not be left out. This is the bank’s way of encouraging many to learn a trade along that line.


The Fashion Presentation
While the master classes are in full swing, some carefully selected Nigerian designers will be putting up a presentation of their exclusive and well curated designs within the venue of the fashion event. In the past, designers such as Weizdhurm Franklyn, Toju Foyeh, Chidinma Obiari and Style Temple were part of the designers who participated in the fashion presentation. This year, winning entries from the ‘Sketch to Fame competition’, a call for aspiring African fashion designers organized by the bank, will have their original collection produced and showcased at the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend.

Fashion presentation by Style Temple


The Runway
There will be a runway show which ends each day’s flurry of activities, featuring collections by local and international fashion brands. The well coordinated shows usually offer guests artistic insights into the modern world of Nigerian and global fashion designs.


Commenting on the GTBank Fashion Weekend during its first edition, Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, said, “The vision behind the fashion event is for it to be an initiative that unlocks growth opportunities for small businesses and put African fashion on a global pedestal. While we are thrilled to be the first in the Nigerian financial sector to pioneer this initiative, we also believe we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that our customers have all the necessary tools to achieve success within the global economy. Perhaps while the government searches for an elixir to the current economic woes being faced, the fashion industry if properly exploited, might just be one of the palliatives we need to revive an ailing economy, going by the impressive economic figures being churned out from these fashion cities.”