We were so happy to be invited as the closing show to this fashion happening in the Rivers State of Nigeria, only to be “plagued” by the thought of travelling to one of the epicentres of the Ebola outbreak in that Country.
We love Nigeria and we love Nigerians, there is a dynamic, can-do attitude. Our experience is of a country of optimism and warmth and we are always humbled by the generous welcome we receive, first as strangers and now as friends.
We watched the news religiously leading up to our departure. We were assured that we would be looked after, but the daily news did little to satisfy our concerns and even less to our families’. We finally decided to go, despite the Ebola, the malaria, the hepatitis, the kidnappings and everything else that could go wrong.
Port Harcourt is nothing like what we have seen in Lagos. It is real tropical Africa with forests of palms and wild strelizia and fiddle leaf figs. I’m not sure it would be our first choice to holiday but the same warm welcome, the same happy go lucky attitude, did more than compensate for the infrastructure still under construction.
The point is Fashion is like theatre, what happens on the ramp belies what the venue looks like (and there was nothing wrong with the venue). The point is the fashion is amazing. This event sponsored in association with the local government, was a celebration of new local talent as much as established designers like ourselves.
International models were flown in to walk alongside new faces. Americas next Top Model Rob Evans was there as was Millen Magese both from New York, as was Former Miss World and local export Agbani Darego who showed her new line of denim ready to wear, as well as Shaldon Kopman from Naked Ape in Johannesburg.
Our collection was well received by the local dignitaries and National press and a huge thanks go to Frank Osodi for the invitation (his printed evening dresses were really beautiful) and Natalia and Frederico Fernandez for the show production (we will be visiting Mendoza as soon as you are ready). Thanks to Verdant Zeal for your hospitality and all the Nigerian fashion cognoscenti for embracing KLUK CGDT with such joy.