Lagos, the fashion hub of Nigeria was the centre of attention last weekend, attracting locals and foreigners to the much anticipated 3rd Edition of the GTFashion Weekend. The fashion weeks organized by different organization have been going on since early September, but of them all… this was it! People turned up in thousands for the events. Immediately I drove into the arena, I forgot about the traffic and the accompanying hot weather I had endured for at least two hours. The energy was electric! The different displays, the whole setup, the authentic African touch that never fails to engage, the stylishly dressed, the diversity that reflected individualities, the retailers (from beauty to fashion) the dream guests, the master classes, the graphics and visuals at the runway shows…, it was a fashion haven. A truly gratifying experience that was absolutely free!
True to its theme; Promoting Enterprise, the GTFashion weekend had eighty-nine retailers in attendance showcasing their products, garnering new and old customers. Some other designers had their works displayed at the runway shows and some on the side runway (brilliant initiative by the way). I bet it was a rewarding event for the retailers and the designers. With all the fixtures and displays I couldn’t help my curiosity; what was the total cost of the two days’ events? Well, what ever hundreds of millions of Naira was spent, I do hope the desired impact was achieved.
My personal highlight was the master class with the one and only Jay Manuel! Yes, Jay was live in Lagos dishing out some serious insights on ‘Discovering You’. He spoke about the negativity of social media; how people have been drawn into crowd sourcing their image instead of self sourcing and how constantly seeking validation is self destructive. He also spoke about the danger of following trends, “while we thrive for more likes and comments, don’t forget to follow the path to you” he added.
Jay shared a number of wise words from his repertoire, I’ll just summarize them in bullet points;
- Free your mind and discover your power.
- RSVP – research, study, visualize and prepare!
- Make the best of the moment, be in the present.
- Separate ‘you’ from the brand you are creating. This way you don’t take things personally.
- Don’t let your mind be an attorney of your ego.
He also shared from The Four Agreements by Miguel;
- Be Impeccable with your words
- Don’t take anything personally. Be immune to the actions of others because nothing they do is because of you.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
When asked about a common trait shared by all the talents he has worked with, Jay said it was their dream of success superseding their fear of failure. If you don’t take anything from what I’ve written so far, please take that last sentence. There were other master classes by other notable guests; Dapper Dan, Burak Cakmak, Nikki Ogunnaike, Nicholas Kirkwood to name a few. Wish I had attended them all, like Jay’s class, I’m sure they were also enlightening and inspiring.
To the GTFashion organizers, thank you for a wonderful experience, for your immerse contribution to the fashion industry, and for promoting fashion enterprises. From my observations of the events and what I recognize as the needs in the industry, I strongly believe optimal impact can be achieved. With the right exposure and guidance, we would have robust pool of talents and entrepreneurs. There is so much to be done in Nigeria’s fashion landscape, GtFashion has made steps in the right direction.
Did you attend the events? What did you think?