A fashion designer, Yeside Laguda, has unveiled an exquisite collection of Adire designs named after Nigeria’s past heroines.
At the unveiling on Saturday night in Lagos, she called on Nigerians to patronise local fabrics not only for their aesthetic value but also for the need to grow the economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exhibition which attracted top government functionaries, prominent personalities and fashion aficionados was titled: “ROOTS-A journey in history with Adire”.
Some of those who graced the exhibition included: the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Idiat Adebule and the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Yetunde Onanuga.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who is the designer’s father was present with his wife, Kudirat and top socialite, Bola Shagaya, as well as the founder of Ebony Life TV, Mo’ Abudu.
The publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, Sir Sam Amuka was among other notable personalities at the exhibition.
Laguda named her designs after Nigerian heroines such as: Madam Efunroye Tinubu, Funmilayo -Ransome -Kuti, Prof.Dora Akinyuli,bQueen Idia, Stella Adadevoh, Flora Nwakpa, Kudirat Abiola, HID Awolowo, Moremi Ajasoro. She did so to celebrate their achievements.
The designer said at a time when the country was focusing on diversification to save foreign exchange and improve the economy, there was the compelling need for people to buy local fabrics.
She said her foray into making Adire designs was inspired by the need to express her creativity, promote the Adire fabric and contribute her quota to economic development.
Laguda said she was also motivated by the need to take control of her business and respond swiftly to clients’ needs especially with difficulty of sourcing foreign fabrics.
She said: “I decided to go into Adire designs mainly to express myself, to influence my environment and to give people what will look good on them.
“It is not enough for us to say “Buy Nigeria, Buy Nigeria,” we really have to do something about it by making our own products and buying them, especially our fabrics.
“That is the way we can keep our money here, prevent our money from going out and together, we can grow the economy.”
She urged those in the industry and beyond to create things to help the growth of the economy and the Nigerian people.
She said her decision to name her designs after Nigerian heroines was to celebrate them in view of their great contributions to democracy and development.
On her choice of “Roots”as the title of the exhibition, she explained it was a deliberate attempt to take people on a journey to the past with beautifully -curated Adire designs employing modern techniques.
She thanked her father and husband for standing with her while executing the project, saying their support gave her the needed courage.
Minister of state for Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, said the Federal Government was committed to the diversification of the economy to improve revenue and save foreign exchange.
The Minister commended Laguda for the initiative, saying her creative spirit aligned with government’s calls to promote Nigerian products.
While congratulating the designer on the success, Abubakar said she was personally motivated by her designs.
She said: “I think it is the diversification thing that really gets me and I am so excited.
“And the fact that her designs are for all and the link with women who did a lot for the country.”
Dr Idiat Adebule also commended Laguda for her designs, saying they would go a long way to promote local fabrics and culture.
She said she could not resist the beauty of the designs, hence her decision to pick some. She recommended them to Nigerians.
Ogun deputy governor, Yetunde Onanuga, said she was particularly moved that Laguda was showcasing Adire which her state is known for.
She said she was proud of Laguda’ brand and that the state would support her to promote the Adire fabric.
Yeside Laguda’s father, Lai Mohammed, thanked the dignitaries and other guests for attending his daughter’s exhibition.
He commended Laguda’ creative spirit and noted that the designs celebrated heroines, to link the present with the past.