By Josephine Obute
Lagos – A top fashion promoter, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, has told parents and school authorities to embrace `ankara’ as school uniforms, rather than patronizing foreign fabrics.
Ademiluyi, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN on Wednesday in Lagos said that embracing ankra would make Nigeria to save the foreign exchange usually expended on importing fabrics.
She said that the measure would also promote the Made-in-Nigeria policy being promoted by the present administration.
Ademiluyi, the promoter of the yearly Africa Fashion Week carnival, spoke to NAN at the end of a cultural show, organised by her organization for school children and their parents in Lagos.
She said that the show was a prelude to the Africa Fashion Week, scheduled for London, from Aug. 11 to Aug. 12 in Freemasons’ Hall, London.
“Let us teach our children how to dress in wrappers and head gears,” she said, noting that this would instill love for indigenous fashion among the upcoming generation.
“Nationals of many developed countries proudly wear and promote their indigenous attires in their countries, why should our case be different in Nigeria.’’
She said that encouraging our children to wear our local Ankara and indigenous costumes would stop them from going into extinction.
According to her, the moment these children prefer the foreign fashion, there will be an automatic rejection and denial of the home-based fabrics and outfits.
“In fact, there is nothing wrong if we adopt Ankara as school-uniform materials, against the foreign fabrics like the jean trousers currently been adopted by most schools as a Friday wear,” she said.
Ademiluyi said that the African fashion had grown so big in London that it had become a promotional tool for the country and it currently had a high demand internationally.
“African fashion industry is currently worth $31 billion internationally, so we must collaborate to promote it within our country, starting with our children because it is rich.
“ In trying to infuse our culture with the western world, we must not forget the value it is worth, people should not fail to see the beauty and richness of the Nigerian culture,” she said.
She further advised school managements to adopt the local fabrics as a compulsory dress code for their staff to boost the indigenous culture.
“The way many developed countries have adopted suits as a formal dress code, so we can transform our local fabrics to an official outfit in offices, homes and even schools,” she said.
Ademiluyi, a promoter of Africa fashion in London and Nigeria, lauded the current acceptance of local fabrics in Nigeria.
She said there was need to make the children and parents embrace the concept the more.
“Countries like India and the United Arab Emirate (UAE) ensure that their nationals dress in their local fabrics to promote their cultures.’’
She commended some Nigerian establishments that had adopted the wearing of Ankara as their Friday outfits and advised them to wear it beyond Fridays.
She said that the 7th edition of African show in August, in
London, would feature over 100 designers that would promote African fashion before the international community.
“Since debuting in 2011, this event has gone from strength to strength; championing new and emerging designers who are inspired by the rich culture of Africa and contemporary design,” she said.
According to her, AFWL is Europe’s largest event for African inspired fashion. It is a celebration of African design talent and the diverse ethnic influences that contribute to fashion in the UK.
She said that the 2016 Catwalks at London Olympia hosted 36 catwalk designers from 20 different countries, while the 2015 shows featured over 50 catwalk designers with over five shows including the South African Kwa-Zulu Natal Fashion Council.