Luzol: A Tapestry of Fabrics, Colours and Silhouettes
by Ladun Ogidan
Founded in 2002 by Austin Aimankhu, Luzol employs top quality fabrics including specially designed batik and Kampala prints for carefully curated couture line.
To improve growth within the sector, in 2014, he also established Fashion Art Fusion to bring to the fore, Afrocentricity of top designers and artists on a global stage.
Since its inception, Luzol has catered to several high net worth clients and expanded with numerous collaborations that continue to grow.
What were the factors that led to your decision to become a fashion designer?
I got into fashion by accident and fell in love with it. A friend I visited Kese Jabari who was a well-known fashion designer in Lagos in the ’90s and eventually ended up as his manager out of sheer love for his work.
Who were your early influences and why?
My sole influence was Kese Jabari, I was impressed by his style.
Where do you draw inspiration from when creating a new collection?
My inspiration stems from a tapestry of fabrics, colours and silhouettes.
In your opinion, what are the latest trends in African fashion design today?
African fashion like global fashion has become transcultural, especially with the advent of the Internet. You see designers fusing different cultures in their collections and influenced by different cultures in their design approach. Most times creatives are inspired by what they see or are exposed to, and fashion designers are not any different.
What is your greatest success to date?
My work as the founder of Fashion Art Fusion in 2014 which in turn influenced WEAR NIGERIA, launched in 2016 to celebrate and promote the Nigerian textile tradition and culture. Overall, this has greatly influenced my work and style.
In your opinion, how does the Nigerian market compare to markets on the continent in terms of consumption and attitude towards trends?
Compared to other markets on the continent, it is sophisticated. But to other continents, emerging and evolving. Our fashion consumption is still couture-based, unlike other climes where the ready to wear culture is developed. This restricts our fashion development and our ability to play on the world stage.
How do you think technological advances coupled with the influence of social media, impact the way trends evolve and the way we shop?
There is no doubt that social media and technology have greatly influenced how we consume fashion and how trends evolve, as it has reduced the size of the world. We are now exposed to and influenced by different cultures.
Although still at the elementary stage, social media is gradually influencing our fashion consumption. It has opened up a new and cheaper avenue for fashion designers to access the market and put out their designs and collections. Though online shopping is gradually taking hold in Nigeria, fashion is still slow because it is couture-based. We also have a problem with ensuring standards in our production process. Furthermore, we have not taken advantage of technological advances in our production process.
What do you forecast for the coming season amidst the on-going Coronavirus pandemic?
So far there has been a decline in fashion activities due to the pandemic. Next season will not be too different, we have to stay virtual. However, one is optimistic that things will gradually get back to normal. Everything with a beginning will have an end. As the whole world is affected, a solution will hopefully be found soon.
July 01, 2021