The Best Street Style at Lagos Fashion Week

Lagos, like Tokyo or London or Paris, is a city known for style. The streets of the Nigerian metropolis are filled every day with people who artfully blend the modern and the traditional, the classic and the fashion-forward. During Fashion Week, which kicked off last Thursday and ended this past weekend, Lagosians are known to pull out all the stops. Captured outside the tents at the Federal Palace Hotel on Victoria Island, the epicenter of the action, Stephen Tayo’s photographs offer a snapshot of the wildly imaginative looks on parade. In one image, a babushka boy rocks a dainty scarf to punctuate a clean white Polo shirt; in another, a show-goer wears a floor-sweeping scarlet dress resembling papal robes. There’s a young man on the scene whose ensemble, while minimal, appears especially attention-grabbing, with slinky, hip-hugging bell-bottoms and graphic, white sunglasses to give Andy Warhol a run for his money. Maybe most thrilling of all, at least in Tayo’s eyes, is the man wrapped in a beautiful, canary yellow shawl. “It’s the Akwete fabric from [the region of] Igboland,” says Tayo, 25, who has been shooting the event for three years in a row. “It’s a bold color and very suiting to the eyes, but it also connotes sustainability, because it’s handmade from here.”

More than anything, Lagos street style is defined by a sense of fearlessness and unbridled joy. It’s a reassuring reminder that thinking bigger and bolder with your fashion choices pays off. “Lagos style, I’d say, is very unapologetic,” says Tayo. “There’s a blend of everything!” And yet, as he also points out, there is one thing that unifies everything under the sun here: excitement. “Everyone shows up and kills it,” says Tayo. “There’s enthusiasm all around.”

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