Focus Nigeria, a collective of top Nigerian fashion designers, will present their latest collections at Couture Fashion Week at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday February 20, 2011. The Berrys Couture, House of Farrah and Reedas labels will make their USA debut at the prestigious event, while House of Jola will be returning for the third time. The fashion show will be held in the iconic Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue, New York City.
The Focus Nigeria designers are all highly regarded and well-known in their native country. Advance promotion for the group’s participation in the New York event has generated a media buzz in Nigeria. Joan Okorodudu, the organizer of the collective and a successful business woman and accomplished designer, is the driving force behind the project having worked with these designers and many more on important fashion projects in Nigeria.
Ms. Okorodudu’s own fashion label, House of Jola, has participated in numerous fashion events including South Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria Fashion Week and Washington D.C. Fashion Week as well as Couture Fashion Week in New York. House of Jola is just one of the enterprises overseen by this dynamic entrepreneur. Ms. Okorodudu has become an African fashion icon and has been interviewed by top international media such as Reuters, Associated Press and Der Spiegel, one of Europe’s largest publications. She is the founder of Lagos Ageless Clinique as well as the popular TV show Nigeria’s Next Supermodel which has launched the careers of many successful models. Models from Ms. Okorodudu’s highly successful Isis Modeling Agency (Lagos/Johannesburg) have graced top runways from Johannesburg to Paris, from Sanlam to New York. Ms. Okorodudu is also the CEO of International Business Consortium Nigeria Ltd.
House of Farrah is a luxury fashion and lifestyle company specializing in the production of ready-to-wear clothing, accessories and bespoke tailoring. All pieces are handcrafted using the finest fabrics and materials sourced from all over the world. With a spirit of innovation and creativity, the label utilizes the best international practices in garment making, producing limited quantities of an eclectic range of garments appealing to a broad range of tastes. House of Farrah opened its flagship boutique in the Silverbird Entertainment Centre in Abuja in 2009. CEO and Creative Director Fatima Aliyu Garba brings inspiration from her extensive international travels and her decade’s sojourn abroad into her design process. She experiments with fabrics from around the world and creates exclusive, luxurious and inimitable designs that complement the lifestyles of the company’s many clients. A former lawyer and IT consultant, Ms. Garba now pursues her lifelong dream and passion for fashion. A law graduate of Brunel University, Ms. Garba is a member of the Nigerian Bar and also holds a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems.
Reedas is a fashion and lifestyle brand that takes pride in designing stylish, timeless, classy and sophisticated outfits that are both functional and comfortable. Great care is taken to ensure that all garments are made to perfection with a focus on quality, style and client satisfaction. Limited edition pieces are created to suit a diverse fashion-conscious clientele who enjoy re-inventing and re-interpreting trends that speak to them while having fun with their personal style. Rukkayah Suleiman-Mohammed, the creative force behind the Reedas label, worked for almost a decade in the banking industry before following her dream of being a fashion designer. One of Nigeria’s brightest up-and-coming designers, Ms. Suleiman-Mohammed is the daughter of a prominent diplomat. Her childhood experiences attending state dinners and gala balls with an international array of guests helped develop her taste for fine fashion and luxury. The hallmarks of the Reedas label are rich fabrics and mastery of the tapestry.
Launched in 2007, Berrys Couture is headed by Hadiza Yakubu, a hardworking and focused entrepreneur with a love of fashion. The label’s focus is on practically casual, glamorous and dressy clothing with a touch of the exotic and great attention to detail. The distinctive designs appeal to a wide spectrum of men and women.