By Nkiru Ifeajuna
Lagos – A designer, Gabriel Solomon, has urged governments to collaborate with stakeholders in fashion, to harness the talents of youths for the purpose of making the country attain global recognition.
Solomon, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Russell Fashion House, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“Every single youth has a talent waiting to be harnessed.
“If governments collaborate with us stakeholders in the industry, it will go a long way to help empower the youths in the fashion sector, promote our culture and arts and craft.
“Youths are eager to learn; some of them currently showing their stuff on the runways cannot be there forever.
“So they will want to learn more in the sector and progress to higher level to make more money,’’ he said.
The fashion designer said the nation’s fashion industry could thrive if the efforts of the stakeholders in the sector received the much needed support from government.
“Government collaboration will hasten its going more international’’.
He attributed the slow growth of the fashion industry in the country to lack of collaborative efforts of stakeholders in the area of fashion exhibitions and fashion week.
He said that only the effort of individual leaders in the business was keeping the industry going.
“Our actions determine pushing the industry forward for a positive change.
“So we need to push it up further because youths need to be empowered to be able to feed themselves and be self reliant.
“I expect new opportunities for the fashion industry with this present government and to create more employment for people but none is coming.
“With government lending a helping hand, we can mass produce materials to be sold abroad and at the same time employ people,’’ he said.
He called on the leaders in the business to begin to change where and how their products are made.
“When this happens there will be innovation and creativity beyond our wildest dream because what carries the fashion industry is creative energy and imagination, not the money,’’ he said.