Seeing this collection, there’s no questioning why she was invited to meet Michelle Obama as part of Obama’s most admired fashion designers.

The collection infuses traditional adire prints into soft fabrics in shapes that are familiar territory for Maki Oh – the boxy top, the midi, tapered shirts. Silk has always had a place in her collections but here she adds rich cottons and dense, spongy honeycomb mesh. (source)

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic


As FADER’s love affair with Nigerian label Maki Oh and it’s namesake founder Amaka Osakwe grows, so to does my own personal long distance admiration of the designer and her works continue to be nurtured.

In their latest feature on the designer and the significance of her Maki Oh as a Lagos-based and Nigerian-centered homegrown label, the FADER’s style editor at large Mobolaji Dawodu, who’s half-Nigerian, recollects his childhood in Lagos and connects his nostalgic remembrances of the role clothes, style and tailoring plays in Lagos life, to the ways in which the relevance and dynamics of these traditions are being interestingly resurrected by Maki Oh’s use of non-Western Nigerian cloths such as Adire that are both made in and originate in Nigeria (although similar indigo dying techniques are used throughout much of West Africa).

Maki draws from the traditional stuff, because that’s where it started, but she’s mixing it up.

In this regard, Maki Oh stands out from a sea of African designers who are using non-African textiles (i.e. Dutch Wax print) that have become synonymous with what we often refer to as ‘African fashion’, and often mistaken for being of African origin.

Maki’s work stands out because she uses fabrics in Africa that aren’t the norm. Nowadays, everybody is doing a lot of beautiful designs with African prints, or ankara—like the Turkish capital. But the fabrics that Maki uses are more obscure. When you see an African print, you look at it and you’re like, Oh that’s an African print, but what she uses, when you look at it, it’s not just about Africa. It’s a mesh of many influences. A lot of ankara fabrics are actually imported from Holland these days; the prints that Maki uses will be hand-painted and stitched in Nigeria, but they’ll be a play on those traditional designs and the stories they tell, like a dress that’s covered in eyes, or fish, or a very contemporary-looking abstract design.

#WomanCrushWednesday: Nigerian Fashion Designer Amaka Osakwe (Maki Oh)

#WomanCrushWednesday: Nigerian Fashion Designer Amaka Osakwe (Maki Oh)

It’s Woman Crush Wednesday and our crush is Nigerian fashion designer and creator of the only African based fashion label named Maki Oh Amaka Osakwe
She owns and leads her womans wear label since 2010 from Lagos, being one of the few Nigerian-based brands that are globally acknowledged.

Osakwe studied at the Arts University Bournemouth where she received a BA in fashion studies.
she launched…

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Fashion Lookbook: Maki Oh Spring 2015 RTW Collection.

Watching the progress of Nigerian designer Amaka Osakwe’s clothing label Maki Oh, a play on her first and last names, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in African fashion and design.

Always keeping her feminine appeal and awareness intact, where last year’s Spring 2014 RTW collection was an exciting mish-mash of colours, cuts and silk sensuality, she returns this year with a range that sees a complete aesthetic departure from where she was a year ago.

Using a palette that includes a similar shade of indigo, inspired by Yoruba Adire textiles, that she made use of in her Fall/Winter 2014 RTW collection, Amaka’s Spring 2014 RTW line is a mixture of exquisite simplicity and classic simplicity. Not that any of this is new for Amaka. We’ve seen her take on similar silhouettes as far back as her Fall/Winter 2013 collection - one of her best to date.

See more images from this collection.

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Lisa Folawiyo, Omoyemi Akerele, Amaka Osakwe & More make African Fashion Awards 2014 Nominees List

Lisa Folawiyo, Omoyemi Akerele, Amaka Osakwe & More make African Fashion Awards 2014 Nominees List

Great news! The 2014 African Fashion Awards nominees have been announced and Nigeria has been well represented as Omoyemi Akerele of Style House Files/Lagos Fashion & Design Week, Lisa Folawiyo of her eponymous fashion label, Amaka Osakwe of Maki Oh, Favour LuckyImade Ogbewi both models from Isis Modelling Agency made the nominees list. (more…)

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Maki Oh's Day At The White House For Michelle Obama's Celebration Of Design

NEW POST: Maki Oh’s Day At The White House For Michelle Obama’s Celebration Of Design

It started when we saw an invite to the White House for one of our favourite labels, Maki Oh on Instagram. Excited about this amazing honour for a Nigerian designer we love so much we’ve been eagerly awaiting all the news and pictures to share with you and here they are!  (more…)

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Amaka Osakwe of Maki Oh; The Nigerian Designer in Whom Michelle Obama is Well-Pleased

Amaka Osakwe of Maki Oh; The Nigerian Designer in Whom Michelle Obama is Well-Pleased

When the First Lady of the United States,Michelle Obama aka FLOTUS not only takes special note of your designs, but goes ahead to don it, and then invites you to a Celebration of Design featuring her favourite designers, you are most definitely doing something right!


Amaka Osakwe, the Creative Director of Maki Oh, is the award-winning designer and trail blazer who is doing…

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Fader TV Interviews Designer Amaka Osakwe Of Maki Oh


Simple, Stylish and Full Of Statement Pieces: Five Womenswear Collections We Love, So Far This Year. 

Maki Oh Fall 2015 RTW

Making use of Adire, Aso-oke, Akwa Ocha and Oja, all authentically Nigerian textiles, as seen in previous collections, designer Amaka Osakwe is once again on a creative mission to “continue to illustrate to the world (and Africans) that we have desirable, couture quality local textiles,” beyond imported Dutch Wax fabrics. And, once again, she does undoubtedly does so with this collection, which also explored the interesting origins of Mami Wata, full of structural but feminine cuts and silhouettes.

Watch the collection’s fashion film.

“Alien Nation” - Loza Maléombho F/W 2015

The collection explores a series of seemingly opposing dichotomies that come together in an almost natural aesthetic harmony; masculine versus feminine, functional versus structural, traditional versus modern. Titled ‘Alien Nation,’ a reference to her multicultural heritage and sense of social consciousness that inspired this portrait series, Loza blends various fabrics, patterns and accents (the raffia fringe trims are a reference to Zaouli dancers of northern Ivory Coast) to create a meticulously constructed unique body of work. Every item is a statement piece where high fashion and high art meet.

Omondi F/W 2015

Soft pastel palettes of various shades of cream, grey, blue, lilac and pink, coupled with her use of soft and silky fabrics make this one of our favourite collections of the season. The baggy and flow-y silhouettes of the pieces from the New York-based Kenyan Recho Omondi designer melt so easily into each other to create looks that are both dreamy and incredibly comfortable.

“MAASK” - Tsemaye Binitie Pre- Fall 2015

Simple, sleek and glamourous, the Nigerian designers Pre-Fall 2015 collection has a distinct air of effortless cool. As is the case with many African designers, Binitie distinctly mixes the traditional with the contemporary, accenting some of his pieces with his own rendition of masks common amongst various Nigerian ethnic groups. This, as well as Phyllis Galembo’s Maske series, is where the collection gets its name and inspiration.

“Wings by Deola” - Deola Sagoe 

Inspired by her daughter’s school project about moths, flies and butterflies, evident in the cuts, details, shapes and drapes in this Lakin Ogunbanwo-shot summer garden themed lookbook, the latest 37-piece collection from Nigerian designer Deola Sagoe is a breathtaking adventure into a world of indigo patterns and hues, silky silhouettes, femininity and spring time blooms. 

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Maki Oh - Fall Winter 2013

Osakwe combines her Nigerian references with coolly elegant Western silhouettes, notably pencil-lean dresses; The circular necklines and seaming on other pieces echoed the effect. Then, Osakwe explored more laid-back cuts, executing boxy tees, lapel-free jackets, and pajama pants. Still, this was a typically natty affair, relaxed but not casual per se. Likewise, Osakwe’s incorporation of heavier fabrics, such as the velour, and items fit for cooler weather, like the jackets, did nothing to diminish or distract from her unique point of view; Osakwe may be conceding to the seasonal needs of her increasingly international clientele, but she’s doing it her own way.



MAKI OH - Spring Summer 2013

The eyes on Osakwe’s clothes are meant to be unsettling: They’re watching you. And it’s no accident that the face cut into the fringe on Osakwe’s terrific slipdress looks pissed off; that’s the girl whose secret’s been betrayed. Elsewhere, Osakwe picked up a traditional Nigerian print of spiraled squares, which was an allusion to the compounds where people live in rural Nigeria. 


#Throwback Spotted - Michelle Obama In Maki Oh

NEW POST: #Throwback Spotted - Michelle Obama In Maki Oh

Not that far back into the past but because I’m loving Amaka Osakwe’s Genevieve Magazine’s cover, I remembered the time when Michelle Obama brought the designer into spotlight by wearing one of her blouses from her Spring/Summer 2013 collection. (more…)

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