Saturday, 8 December 2012

Designer Biography – Mai Atafo Inspired By Mai Atafo

Designer Mai Atafo, one of the 35 designers who showcased at the recently held 2012 Lagos Fashion and Design Week, is one of the most recognized and sought after designers in the industry today. Mai Atafo launched MAI (Mai Atafo Inspired) in 2007. Mai Atafo’s line specializes in suits for men and glamorous red carpet dresses, and In July 2011 Mai Atafo launched “Weddings By MAI”, thereby adding gorgeous wedding dresses to his brand to cater for all clothing needs for weddings.

Mai Atafo, with his clothing line, has developed a reputation for gorgeous and perfectly fitting dresses that translate into the sophisticated and elegant look every bride desires and not to forget his well tailored bespoke suits.

Mai Atafo is a fashion artist (MAI), fashion editor (Genevieve), stylist, entertainment consultant and compere. His sense of fashion, styling and lifestyle are the inspiration and artistic expression of Mai Atafo Inspired for the young Nigerian designer with a natural flair and passion for everything fashion and life.

Though Mai Atafo continues to strive as a fashion designer, he still consults as a marketing specialist, he develops concept, coordinates and produces events and TV shows.

Mai Atafo was born in Ile-Ife, Osun State. Though an indigene of Edo State, he spent most of his childhood in Benin City, Lagos and London. He holds a 2nd Class Upper degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension from Edo State University, Ekpoma, and then obtained a Post graduate degree in Information Technology, from City University London, England.

Before Mai Atafo ventured into the world of fashion, he lived life as a full blown marketer in the corporate world. After almost 7 years in the United Kingdom he returned to Nigeria to a job in British American Tobacco before moving to Guinness Nigeria Plc in 2007. In 2010, almost 4 years later, he took a career break from his role as Senior Brand Manager Guinness to become a full time Fashion Designer.

Between 2007 and 2010 Mai Atafo established and ran his clothing line Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI) which he ran as he worked in a full time job. With designs that are versatile, timeless, notably classicist, but notwithstanding contemporary, clean-cut and urban, it didn’t take long for Mai Atafo to become a recognized name in the fashion world
Some Pieces Of MAI At The Lagos Fashion And Design Week 2012
Some Pieces Of MAI For Arise Magazine Fashion Week 2012

Some Pieces Of MAI For Virgin Atlantic Fashion Show 2010

Munachi Abi Nwankwo As The Official Face For Weddings By MAI

Bridal Pieces For Weddings By MAI
Bridesmaids dresses - Weddings by MAI
Grooms wear – Weddings By MAI

Mai Atafo first major debut was clothing the likes of Omowunmi Akinnifesi (MBGN 2005), Pasuma Wonder and Wale Rubber in the Maiden Edition of the TV Dance reality show “Celebrity Takes Two”. He has since been involved in the second season of “Celebrity Takes Two” clothing Stella Damasus and Yemi Blaq as well as other major TV shows and events like The Future Awards, Hip Hop World Awards, Soundcity Music Video Awards clothing high profile clients such as, Raz Adoti, Ashionye and Kemi Adetiba.

Lists of the celebrities who have been spotted in MAI designs on the red carpet or for photo-shoots include actors Dakore Egbuson, Stephanie Okereke, Stella Damascus, Mercy Johnson, Gbenro Ajibade, Ramsey Nouah, Ex-Beauty Queens Omowunmi Akinnifesi, Munachi Abii, and Adaeze Igwe, Musicians include Banky W, D’Banj, 2face, M.I., Bez, Waje, and Omawumi and other important clients such as JJ Okocha, Uti Nwachukwu, Ebuka and many more.

However, despite the endless list of his celebrity clientele, the brand MAI is described by Mai Atafo as focusing on delivering the highest level of service to all his customers regardless of their status. MAI’s aesthetic is instantly recognizable in his clothing as his notable Piece-de-resistance remains his crested blazers creating a fashion staple amongst the power dressers.

The 2011 official launch of “Weddings By MAI” created a wedding line brand that caters to every clothing element of a wedding from the bridal gown, bridesmaids dress, little brides dresses, groom and grooms men’s suit, waistcoat and cravat.

Mai Atafo’s success has been recognized with a number of awards including: two awards from City People Fashion and Style as Hottest New Designer Male (2009) and Special Recognition (2010); Mode Men Magazine Fashion Designer of The Year (2010) Best Dressed Men (2010) (2011); FAB Magazine Fashion Brand of The Year (2010); The Redefinition Covenant University contribution to fashion (2010) Allure Most Stylish Man of the Year (2011); This Style Best Dresses Men (2011) and more.

On a personal note, Mai Atafo loves Music, Salsa Dancing, Spoken Words, Poetry and Manchester United!

For more information, contact:
The Flagship store at: MAI Atelier, B2A Block B, Falomo Shopping Centre, Awolowo Road, S. W. Ikoyi, Lagos State.
Telephone:             +234 (0)702 9104311 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +234 (0)702 9104311      end_of_the_skype_highlighting                  +234 (0)803 405 7800 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +234 (0)803 405 7800      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      
Facebook: Mai Atafo Inspired
Twitter: @MaiAtafoInspire

Designer Biography: Ozwald Boateng

At a very young age, Ozwald became intrigued with the act of tailoring. While studying at Southwark College, he was introduced to cutting and designing of clothes by his girlfriend at the tender age of 16. From this point on he became obsessed with design, devising a signature fusion of traditional tailoring with exotically colourful fabrics. With the help of his mother who was an excellent seamstress, he started selling his mother’s designs to passersby along the road.

He sold his first collection to a menswear shop in Covent Garden in 1991 and at the age of 23, he started his own business of making bespoke suits. In 1994, 27 year old Ozwald Boateng made a name for himself as a menswear designer when he became the youngest and 1st black tailor to open a store on Savile Row in London.

He was also the first tailor to stage a catwalk show in Paris during a presentation at the Paris Fashion Week.

Over the past two decades, he has interpreted the British art of bespoke tailoring, traditional craftsmanship and innovations awesome of the cornerstones of his label. Since the inception of his fashion label, he has since extended its bespoke expertise to semi-bespoke, ready-to-wear, shoe accessories and luggage.

This former creative director of Givenchy menswear was named the best male designer by France’s Trophees de la Mode. He has clients like Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Mick Jagger, Spike Lee, Forest Whitaker Richard Branson Idris Alba and a host of other celebrities under his belt. His work has been seen on many runways across the world, he recently showcased at the New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and he closed the show at the Arise Magazine ‘African Icons’ Fashion Week.

This flamboyant tailor is definitely a force to reckon with in the fashion industry. He remains one of the most relevant gatekeepers; he gave tailored gears a new relevance in the fashion world.

Designer Biography: House Of DEO – Deola Sagoe

Deola Sagoe is one of the highly celebrated haute couture fashion designers from Nigeria that has attained and maintained an internationally accepted brand. As she currently showcases her collection as one of the 35 selected designers for the Mercedes-Benz Africa Fashion Week happening in Johannesburg, South Africa, it’s amazing to think of how she juggles life as one of the biggest designer with being a mother to three girls.
In 1998, Deola Sagoe began designing and gradually gained an international notoriety for her vibrant, lively and colorful designs. Deola Sagoe has not always been this big. With her roots in Ondo State of Nigeria, she studied at the University of Miami and University of Lagos for a Masters degree in Finance and Management.

In April 2006 she was appointed to represent Nigeria in a new international campaign organized by the United Nations World Food Program, with a goal to raise money towards halving the number of hungry people in the world by 2015.

With a tight schedule and a wide audience to please, Deola Sagoe has exhibited her different collections at Cape Town Fashion Week, South Africa Fashion Week, ARISE, New York Fashion Week, and more. She is currently showing her designs at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa.

Some Pieces from Deola Sagoe’s Vintage Spring/ Summer 2010-11 at Africa Fashion Week

Pieces From ARISE Magazine African Fashion Collective III – Deola Sagoe Fall 2010

Pieces From The Deola Sagoe Fall/Winter 2011 (ORI OKE) Collection

Deola Sagoe, who has famous fans such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith, has several achievements such as winning the “Africa Designs” and the MNET/ Anglo Gold African Designs 2000 awards.

For more than two decades Deola Sagoe has had a singular aim and achievement, which according to her is to enable customers reveal their unique, albeit inexplicable characters through her designs.

Deola Sagoe is a fashion visionary with a unique approach to her craft that has endeared her to fans and followers all over the world. She uses African fabrics, hand-woven materials, and by contemporizing almost-lost traditional African techniques, Deola’s designs present a unique vision and attitude for the modern woman.

Deola Sagoe was once quoted, describing the woman that she designs for: “The Deola Sagoe woman 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 humor. One day she is all woman, the next she is ingénue. 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 colorful – she uses color 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…”

 Deola Sagoe

In person, Deola is a personality with many layers, much like the multilayered designs she crafts. She is a wondrous contradiction, a charismatic yet serene figure, outgoing yet shy, enterprising yet protective, rebellious yet a believer in age-old traditions.

Interestingly, her three daughters, Teni, Aba and Tiwa, have seemingly followed the footsteps of their mother and recently launched their own fashion designer label called “CLAN”.
The House of Deola Sagoe was established in 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria. The brand celebrates the inherent, ethnic glamour found in local African fabrics and hand-woven materials.

For more information, contact:
The Flagship store at: 292F Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Telephone: 01-791 8383

Ella & Gabby hosts Exhibition, Sale & Cocktail Party This Weekend – 8th & 9th December 2012 at Radisson Blu in Lagos

Select Pieces From The Exhibition Collective
This Weekend – on the 8th and 9th of December 2012, Contemporary Fashion Label, Ella & Gabby is inviting you to an Exhibition, Sale & Cocktail Party.
It will be a time to intimately interact with the previous collection by Ella & Gabby and the most recent “Exhibition Collective”. We employ you to examine the intricacy of each Ella & Gabby piece and hopefully be blown away by the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into our work.
The brand’s Creative Director, Adaobi Mgbudem will walk you through the “Exhibition Collective” and her inspiration while you enjoy delightful cocktails and a selection of sweet and savoury canapés. Click to view more pieces from the “Exhibition Collective”.
This event has been specially designed to provide you with a unique and personal experience of the designs and theElla & Gabby brand.
Date: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December 2012
Venue: RadissonBlu Hotel – “Lekki Hall”. 1A Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Time: 10AM – 6PM
We look forward to hosting you.
Everyone’s welcome, See you there!
Photo CreditsPhotography: Kelechi Amadi-Obi | Make-up: House Of Tara | Model: Sandra Iwu | Styling:Creative Director, Ella & Gabby

Bez Set To Host The Super Sun Live Concert Alongside Tiwa Savage, Timi Dakolo, Omawunmi, Waje And Praiz

He is not a superstar, Bez is a “supersun” and he is set to host the Super Sun Live Concert on the 29th of December 2012, starting from 7pm at the Eko Hotel and Suites.

Bez’s record label Cohbam’s Asuquo Music Production (Camp) has partnered with Flytime Promotions to bring about this concert.

Bez has recorded astounding achievements this year and as the year is winding up, it’s only natural he rounds off the year in grand style, especially as a concert provides this avenue. Apart from being assigned to Universal Music Publishing and Universal Music territorially, Bez was also the first African act to be featured on US and International network BET’s chart show 106 & Park. He also made the Applause Africa “40 Under 40” list.

The ‘Stupid Song” Crooner Bez, will be supported at the concert by artistes like Omawunmi, Tiwa Savage, Waje, Timi Dakolo, and the Extreme Music artiste which he also featured on the  “Stupid Song,” Praiz.

          Timi dakolo                                     Waje                                                  Praiz

The Concert Tickets are sold at Eko Hotel and Suites, Ozone Cinemas and Images & Prints (Silver Bird Galleria) at N15, 000. You can also purchase online at

Tiwa Savage And Basket Mouth To Host NMVA 2012 – See Full Nominees List

The Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA) is set to hold on the 20th of December, 2012 at the Exhibition Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites.

The event which honors musical works yearly will be hosted by singer Tiwa Savage and comedian Basketmouth, according to the organizers.

A total of 19 awards are up for grabs, with each category having five nominees each.
Songstress and diva Tiwa Savage leads the pack with four nominations which include; Best Use of Costumes, Best Indigenous Concept, Best Highlife and Video of the Year for the song ‘Ife wa gbona.’

Cross over Pop singer Chidinma follows with three nominations for her ‘Kedike‘ video.

Video director Clarence Peters also receives three nominations for Best Video director, Best Cinematography and Best Editor categories for Chidima’s ‘Kedike.’

Illbliss, Ruggedman and Olamide will contend for the ‘Best Hip-Hop’ video award. 2face idibia, whose recent song ‘Raindrops’ is more of R&B than it is Reggae will contend with Ras Kimono, Olu Maintain and General Pype for the Best Reggae-Dancehall award.

Interestingly, Kween Onakala returns to the awards contenders list with her ‘You no go know’ video, which gets two nominations. The R&B singer released her ‘Kweendoncome’ album late last year.

See Nominees Full List Below:
Dona Diva – Shut Up
Neato C – Tony Montana Remix
Sauce Kid (Sinzu) – Carolina
Uzikendu – Osiso
Vector – Angeli

Burna Boy – Like to Party
D’beat – Oyoyo
DIPP – Rock your body
Jeffery – Tona Tona
Timi Dakolo – Love Song
Brymo – Ara
Chidinma – Kedike
JJC – African Skank
P-square – Beautiful Onyinye
Shank – Ghetto

Darey – Sisi Eko
Tiwa Savage – Ife Wa Gbona
Goldie – Say My Name
Sexy Steel – Bebedi Alhaja

Anny – Woruno
Gaise – Movie Song
Psalm – Ebube
Razor – I Need You More
Revival Train – Feel Good

Darey – Sisi Eko
Tiwa Savage – Ife Wa Gbona
Omawumi – Bottom Belle
Sexy Steel – Bebedi Alhaja
Flavour – Kwarikwa

Chidinma – Kedike
Tiwa Savage – Ife Wa Gbona
Kween – You No Go Know
Sexy Steel – Bebedi Alhaja

IllBliss – Anamachikwanu
Laylow – At The Top
Olamide – Ilefo Illuminati
Phyno – Shutdown
Ruggedman – Because of You

2face – Raindrops
General Pype – Give It To Me
Olu Maintain – NAWTI
Ras Kimono – Veteran
Spydaman – Pick Pin

BEZ – Stupid Song
Boogieman – Rock Your Party
Ebisan – Jowo
Lagbaja – Knock Knock
MYA K – Survive

Boogieman – Rock Your Party
Omawumi – Bottom Belle
Solid Star – Omotena
Spydaman – Pick Pin
2face – Iheneme

2face – Iheneme
Eldee – Today Today
Chuddy K – Gaga Crazy
X Project – Black Diamond
Iyanya – Kukere

Davido – Dami Duro
Zeelex – Go
Seaon – Lie
Styleh – Iwoni
Miz Gold – Tika Tika

FilmBoy (Moraf) – Bebedi Alhaja (Sexy Steel)
James Oludare – Say My Name (Goldie)
Clarence Peters – Kedike (Chidinma)
AJE Films – Tona Tona ( Jeffery)

Shola – You Go Know (Kween)
Bolaji Kekere Ekun – Ife Wa Gbona (Tiwa Savage)
Adasa – Like To Party (Burna Boy)
AJE Films – Tona Tona (Jeffery)

Patrick Elis – Sandalili (YQ)
Clarence Peters – Kedike (Chidinma)
Bolaji Kekere Ekun – Ife Wa Gbona ( Tiwa Savage)
AJE Films – Ara (Brymo)

Patrick Elis – Bebedi Alhaji (Sexy Steel)
Clarence Peters – Kedike (Chidinma)
Bolaji Kekere Ekun – Ife Wa Gbona (Tiwa Savage)
AJE Films – Tona Tona (Jeffery)

Psquare – Beautiful Onyinye
Sexy Steel – Bebedi Alhaja
Chidinma – Kedike
Tiwa Savage – Ife Wa Gbona
Olu Maintain – NAWTi

Capital Gorreti Music
Kennis Music
Black Water Records

Let’s Talk Fashion! Nigerian Designer, Emmy Collins presents the “Lagos Fashion Workshop” for Upcoming Fashion Designers – Saturday 22nd December 2012

UK based Nigerian fashion designer, Emmy Collins will be holding a workshop for young, budding and aspiring designers tagged Lagos Fashion Workshop on  Saturday 22nd December, 2012 in Lagos.
The workshop is absolutely free and will cover all aspects of fashion designing including branding, product placement, seasons, business of fashion, manufacturing (a key factor in design and fashion), fabrics, who the buyers are, low end/top end of fashion, business plan, short and long term projections and so on.
According to Emmy Collins, the workshop will be very interactive and will serve as a launch pad to other workshops. “I will endeavour to touch on all the nitty gritty of fashion; the very glamorous and not so glamorous aspects of it and will also answer questions from participants. I clearly understand that one seminar is certainly not enough to cover all these aspects of fashion. However, I hope that this will serve as a launch pad to organising a monthly or bi-monthly workshop where Nigerians, with genuine knowledge and passion, will be invited to lecture participants on selected segments of fashion.”
Participants are encouraged to come with any pieces they have designed “so we all can analyse the quality and highlight areas of needed improvement.” 
The prerequisite to register is TALENT & PASSION. “I can’t teach those, you have to have them,” he said.
Date: Saturday 22nd December 2012
Time: 12PM – 3PM
Venue: Hillside Gardens Guest House 7b Abimbola Close, off Kasumu Ekemofe, off Saka Tinubu, Victoria Island, Lagos
Contact: For more information on on how to be a part of this workshop, email | Follow Emmy on Twitter @emmycollins

5 Breaking Albums Of 2012

It’s been a great year for Nigerian Music; we have witnessed events, tours, awards and even controversies. We have also witnessed the emergence of new artistes some of who gave us really great albums during the year, in addition to the ones delivered by the regular celebrities.

Last year, Ice-Prince and Wizkid ruled supreme, this year, the competition got stiffer and as a result, we have compiled a list of the Top 5 albums that rocked this year below. Be sure to use the comment box to share your view, we will like to hear from you.

Davido – Omo Baba Olowo: The Genesis
Album: Omo Baba Olowo: The Genesis
Artiste: Davido
Producers: Shizzi, Jay Sleek, Maleek Berry, Gospel, Spellz, Dokta Frabz, Davido and Theory Soundz
Features: Naeto C, B-Red, Sina Rambo, May D, 2Face Idibia, Kay Switch and Ice Prince
Label: HKN Music (2012)

One of the most anticipated album of the year as the artiste, Davido consistently dropped hit songs through the year, Just Like wizkid did last year. Moreover, Davido kept getting into the news (both for good and bad reasons), all this aided the anticipation and the success of his album.

Olamide – YBNL

Album: YBNL
Artiste: Olamide
Features: Buckwylla, Davido, Minus 2, Dammy Krane, Kay Switch, Aduke, Kidakudz, Tiwa Savage, Base One and Reminisce
Producers: I.D Cabasa, Tryone, Pheelz, Samklef and 2 Kriss
Record Label: YBNL Nation/1805 Entertainment
Running Time: 1 Hour, 19 minutes, 38 seconds

YBNL is a confident album with a lot of presence. Olamide stakes his claim in Nigeria’s Hip Hop scene, which normally pushes native tongue rappers down the ladder. It is the proud work of a rapper who has emerged from the shadows of a hit making producer and a late Nigerian rap legend to stand in the spotlight and boldly show us what Nigerian rap has been missing for a while- the heartbeat of the streets. The album cover signifies what Olamide is all about presently – a shiny symbol from the dark streets representing struggles, triumph, victory and hope.

D’Prince – Frenzy
Album: Frenzy
Artiste: D’Prince
Features: Don Jazzy, Wande Coal, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, Timaya, Bracket, M.I & Yung Breed
Producers: Don Jazzy, Baby Fresh, Altims Beats, Aone Beats, Spellz and Josh Beatz
Record Label: Mavin Records
Running Time: 1 hour, 18 minutes, 55 seconds

With songs like Take Banana, Goody Bag, amongst others, Frenzy did live up to its name. D’Prince has waited patiently after years of releasing smashing singles, (Despite the lack of the wow-factor). D’Prince’s greatest calling card as an artiste is his unique ability to turn the nonsensical into party music. He does this well on ‘Call Police’- a track about the recreational use of weed on the dance floor. You don’t pause to ponder when he sings “Smoke Igbo, Call MOPOL and “Wheel barrow”. You are lost in the frenzy!

EME Crew – Empire State Of Mind
Album: Empire State Of Mind
Artiste: EME Crew
Features: Banky W, Shaydee Wizkid, Skales, Niyola
Producers: Sarz, Mastercraft, Legendary Beats, Spellz, KidConnect
Record Label: Empire Mates Entertainment

Although one directional, the Empire Mates State of Mind album could serve as the playlist of a wild house party. Just hook your laptop to some mean speakers or earphones, hit play and turn up the volume. With a crew made up of sure hit-makers such as Banky W and Wizkid, the experienced Niyola, the rapper/singer Skales and the freshness of Shaydee Boi, this EME album is a sure club banger!

Mavin Crew – Solar Plexus
Album: Solar Plexus
Artiste: Mavin Crew
Features: Don Jazzy, Wande Coal, D’Prince, Dr. Sid, Tiwa Savage
Producer: Don Jazzy
Record Label: Mavin Records

Following the disbandment of the Mo’Hit Crew, Mavin Records emerged as a brain child of the legendary producer Don Jazzy. This was not the best of Don Jazzy’s works but due to the brand and the controversies that surrounded the crew at the time the album was released, it became huge...