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NIGERIAN FASHION ICON: DEOLA SAGOE

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Deola Sagoe is an haute couture (exclusive custom-fitted clothing) fashion designer from the Ondo State (Nigeria), who has steadily become an internationally accepted brand, with her lively and colourful designs of African fabrics, hand-woven materials, and contemporizing almost-lost traditional African techniques. Deola who began designing in 1998, is a graduate of both the University of Miami and University of Lagos, the latter where she obtained a Masters in Finance and Management, Teni-Sagoe A fashion visionary with a unique approach to her craft, Deola has had a singular aim and achievement, which according to her is to enable customers reveal their unique, albeit inexplicable characters through her designs – and this has endeared her to fans and followers all over the world – have seen her present a unique vision and attitude for the modern woman, who she describes as “The Deola Sagoe Woman”:

“… A woman, who has the mysterious and engaging complexity that is a gift to all women; one day she is dead serious the next she has the naughtiest sense of humour. One day she is all woman, the next she is ingénue (unsophisticated). She definitely enjoys standing out, she is not a worker bee, but finds it far more interesting when everyone has a different point of view and yet everyone can still get along. She is colourful – she uses colour to mirror her mood. She is vital – energetic – not the shy, retiring, type, but she also knows the appropriate time to hold her peace. I like the Deola Sagoe woman because she’s really like a contribution to life…”

ori-oke-lookbook-10__900 Born to Business tycoon and Executive Chairman of Elizade Nig. Ltd, Chief Ade Ojo and late Chief (Mrs) Elizabeth Ojo, Deola has represented Nigeria at the United Nations World Food Program’s “Catwalk the World: Fashion for Food” in April, 2006. She has won the “Africa Designs” and the MNET/Anglo Gold African designs 2000 awards for which she was nominated by Andre Leon Tally, Fashion Magazine, US Vogue’s editor. She has exhibited her different collections at Cape Town Fashion Week, South Africa Fashion Week, ARISE, New York Fashion Week, and the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (South Africa and New York). Her designs have earned her famous fans such as Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood heavy weight –Will Smith, singer/actress – Anika Noni Rose and Dawn Richards. anika noni rose Deola, separated from her Ghanaian husband, Kofi Sagoe, she is mother to three daughters, Teni, Aba and Tiwa. – who have all followed their mother’s footsteps by launching their own fashion designer label called “CLAN”. As Teni, the eldest daughter and brewing lawyer, has taken over the running of her mother’s fashion business.   Written By: Olusola Agbaje

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