Ready-to-wear label Maki Oh has earned founder Amaka Osakwe an LVMH Prize nomination and grown into one of the biggest success stories to come out of Nigeria’s burgeoning fashion scene.
Raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Osakwe received a BA in fashion studies from Arts University Bournemouth in the UK, before returning to Nigeria to launch her fashion label Maki Oh. The fashion brand’s first collection, Autumn/Winter 2010, played with cloaking and traditional African fabrics, taking inspiration from rural Ghana’s Dipo rites-of-passage ceremony, and set the tone for the label’s signature melding of indigenous textiles and motifs with Western silhouettes.
In 2012, Maki Oh debuted at New York Fashion Week, but the label’s real breakthrough in the US came in 2013, when US First Lady Michelle Obama wore it during a trip to Johannesburg, and later invited Osakwe to join her at the “Celebration of Design” event at the White House.
A finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2014, Osakwe has since garnered significant interest from international fashion press and attracted an enviable celebrity clientele that includes Lupita Nyong’o, Solange Knowles and Leelee Sobieski.