By Olajumoke Giwa
Nigerian business man and fashion designer of repute, Agboola Fatai Odunfa is the owner and designer of the label, AOAFRIQ which adopt Ankara as its symbol. The label always stand you out of the crowd and quite different from everyday conventional wear, birthed as an opportunity to make money when EBay decided to catch in on Made in Nigeria products especially at fashion, but over time, he developed passion for it with the idea to export only and Nigerians have since embraced the uniqueness of the designs.
He sleeps and dream designs as he does his sketches.
Agboola, a business communicator with a registered company, Ola Communications has created a niche for himself in the fashion industry having showcased in several fashion shows, most recently on LAMIN Runway and Culturati 2019 where he co-sponsored by clothing all contestants in his unique designs.
Odunfa who diversified into fashion designing using African prints: ankara, adire mix with denim and now aso-oke, source his materials locally making sure the product he’s putting out there is re-usable in good number of years.
He is also the brain behind the highly unique Kembe Jogger and Bumper Jacket which has been his greatest achievement. The Kembe Jogger is a mix design as it is a drop cut like baggy feeling. A traveller who has toured most European countries; got the Jacket idea which is more sold abroad because of the cold weather. His creation is to put something different out there, giving the same feeling. Infact, there’s a Winter Jacket which he put to test each time he travels to ensure that they’re there everyday for everybody. All his productions are made in Nigeria and the market abroad is very promising.
Agboola, nicknamed Agboism Mr White because of his combination of white shirt on ankara print trouser pants as daily corporate wear is known for his creative and well-finished bumper and winter jackets, ankara mixed with denim short dress and track suits, summer wear which comprises of t-shirt, short and cap, kembe joggers, shirts, streetwear and free style suit for men.
Since ankara patterns are out weekly, it makes it easier for him to play with designs, an aim to make his customers understand the law and beauty behind ankara. He promotes culture, captures and expresses African prints made in Nigeria through his designs with expansion of horizon to make the world embrace African Culture by impacting and creating a harmony between fashion, culture, tourism and life.
Agboola Odunfa, is without doubt, one of the most passionate designers with unique concepts in Nigeria fashion industry using ankara patterns mix with denim. He enjoys working with African prints, ankara, aso-oke, denim, leather and adire. Lately, he has thought to start playing with mesh, satin, jackard, lace, natural fibers, and a lot of other locally sourced fabrics to mix in ankara.
He recently dressed all contestants of the just concluded Culturati 2019 in his casuals. Top politicians, artists, beauty queens, entertainers, socialites and some appreciable percentage of notaties are mostly adorned by the casual Designs from AOafriq. It is important to state at this point, that some of the Local Government Chairmen in Lagos State now wear his designs and more will still follow the trend.
His favourite part of being a fashion designer is creativity and ability to be productive. Agboola who balances up his career as a communicator and fashion designer uses his spare time to create designs and follow the fashion industry with the dream of being part of those that will make a design from ankara for recognition to replace the world accepted suit as official dress.
With the roots of his talent stemming from sketching, patterns, fashion designing, stylist, brand manager, communicator, networker and image management sees his business in 5years as a brand that will lead all other brand using African print to make statement worldwide.
Agboola is an entrepreneur in his late 40s, a multitalented good networker who inspires, motivates and counsels. He is a moderate politician who is not a professional fashion designer with an expertise in sexual related matters and has a weakness in trusting people. He studied Art from the University of Lagos which makes it easy for him to sketch before going into production and that gives him an edge. As a people’s man who likes to make sense out of every discussion and it is fun for him to inspire people with a belief that one day, his passion for fashion will announce him to the world with a description of his personal style as simple and dynamic.
Agboola knows fashion is a statement on its own and every design created is added to the dictionary of fashion; advises those going into fashion designing to put passion first and ensure to deal in quality. His belief is that, people come to African companies to produce and take abroad to resell. To him, people need to change their mindset about local products as it is wrong for anyone to address others the way they’re dress.Yes