Omoyemi Akerele is the epitome of a powerhouse. She is one of the driving forces behind Nigeria’s bourgeoning and swiftly developing fashion industry. Her quest to promote, preserve and protect the West African country’s sustainable fashion industry lead to the creation of Style House Files. It is an agency and catalyst in image consultancy and creative direction that bridges the gap between fashion insiders, industry professionals and the global sphere.
Akerele’s ambitions to place Nigeria’s fashion industry on a pedestal also lead her to launch Lagos Fashion and Design Week. Partnered with the British Fashion Council the four-day spectacle features more than 40 designers and gains international acclaim through respected journalists such as Suzy Menkes, as well as interest from a number of buyers like Selfridges.
Her extensive reach does not end there as not only is she listed on Business of Fashion’s Global 500 but she has also created a platform for a selection of Nigerian designers. This has allowed the designers to present at British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase 2012 -2013, Pitti Immagine W in Florence 2012-2014, Vogue Talent Milan Fashion Week and Ndani Space at Selfridges, London.
“In five years, I see an industry with fundamental basics, such as proper investment in formal education for the industry, proper mechanisms in place for access to skills acquisition and development, garment manufacturing plants, accessibility to textiles, retail expansion, access to funding, retail outlets that cater to every demographic”. Akerele’s forward thinking and realistic standpoint to promote fashion as a contributor to Nigeria’s economy most certainly seems influenced by her Bachelor of Laws degree and Masters in International Economic Law. Sometimes a woman needs a little more than her heels, hair and high-end bags to make a mark in fashion.