The Nigerian fashion scene has a rich story of evolution dating back to the ’80s and down to the ’60s and beyond. Nigeria’s fashion history is heavily influenced by the different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups that make up the federal republic. Thanks, or no thanks to the influence of Western culture, there has been an accelerated change in traditional Nigerian styles in the last decade.
The ’80s were the years of colorful fashion; boot cuts, high heel shoes for women and even men, and flowy maxi skirts dominated the Nigerian fashion scene. Big statement jewelry, curly perms, and giant Afros were also in style. The ’80s was also the time shiny ‘aso oke’ and lace were the go-to fabric for both men and women.
Fashion trends have a habit of being in a cycle and old trends often find their way back into modern times with little changes. But sometimes the trends of the glamorous past either don’t appeal to today’s fashionistas or simply take too long to come back.
New York-based celebrity stylist Abidemi Adedeji, popularly known as The Style Train, paid homage to Nigerian fashion in the ’80s with an Iro and Buba look as modeled by his muse, Nyra. Known as ‘Oleku’ this traditional Yoruba attire was one of the biggest fashion trends in the ’80s which made a comeback to the Nigerian fashion scene in the early 2010s.
His work focuses attention on the details that were important in that era including the traditional aso oke fabric, the statement jewelry, the chunky heels, and the metallic purses. The nostalgic Oleku look comes complete with a headgear, known as Gele, the Iborun, a scarf richly placed on the shoulder, and the Iro (wrapper) and Buba (loose fitted blouse).
The history of Nigerian fashion is truly rich and Abidemi, who has styled celebrities like Yemi Alade, made it a point to capture its essence in his Timeless Vintage Series.
See more pictures from the shoot…
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A fashion and pop culture writer who watches a lot of TV in his spare time. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥