In Nigeria everybody loves fashion!

Oroma Cookey-Gam (25), Head Designer and Creative Director behind the Nigerian ALALI Boutique, made one thing clear: Although Africa has got a large amount of poverty, fashion here is not only for the extremely rich spoiled peeps. As Oroma says - with capslock on: "IN NIGERIA EVERYBODY LOVES FASHION! From the local 'okada' (mass transport bike driver) man and the woman selling in the market, to the career woman in the boardroom - everybody is in tune and aware of fashion in their own way." 

Cookey-Gam during her show @ Lagos Fashion Week
Missing out on glamour
Seems pretty obvious actually. Just as in the Western part of the world, fashion is not only for snobby peeps. And just as it is here, there are particular brands for the jetsets, for the rich and for the "poor". Well, Alali Boutique is one of those brands which is affordable for an average income. One of those brands which is actually accessible for the public. Although, according to Oroma, the makers of these accessible designs,  unfortunately miss out on the glamourous part of the fashion bizz. 
"Different designers cater to different echelons in society. It naturally follows that the higher up you deal in, the more glamorous your job is!", she explains. "So sometimes I wish ALALI Boutique was a bit more upscale and expensive but yea, I love my job!" Being accessible is the mission of Cookey-Gam. 
Oroma wants 'to make stylish clothes easily accessible to every Nigerian'. According to herself, she has got a long way to go. And of course she is determined to get there. 

Local fabriques
Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, is a designer that totally is like an example for her. "I'll probably die to work with him!" Cookey-Gam is a big fan of this guy because of the magical way he works with fabric. 
Cookey-Gam simply LOVES fabrics. She gets them at the local Nigerian markets. This way, she supports the local efforts as much as possible. The drawback of this local purchase, are the limited stocks of these shops. Fabriques always played a major role in her designing processes. BUT these days she changed her focus. "I'm trying to not be too enslaved to fabric as it can be distracting." 
"Sometimes I wish ALALI Boutique was a bit more upscale and expensive but yea, I love my job!"
Proud grandma's 
Cookey-Gam has got some fashion blood in her vains. Her grand ma was a tailor. "She is really proud of me", Oroma says. Understandable! This 25-year old designer just launched her next collection. This Pre Fall Collection is called Colour Me Pretty. It stands to celebrate Nigeria's tropical climate and the beauty of their year-long summer season. Last year, Oroma was one of the finalists of the MTN LFDW awards. An awardshow at the fashion week of Lagos, NigeriaReason enough for grandma to be proud of her grandchild.
 The other Oroma grandma, has never been into fashion. But now she is. The name ALALI is made up by her. It was the nickname she gave Oroma ever since she was born. Oroma explains that it means a child born in October or a child born in a festive season. " I loved the name but used to pretend like I hated it."
Some pieces of the new collection

A piece of her new collection 
During ALALI Boutiques show @ Lagos Fashion Week 
During ALALI Boutiques show @ Lagos Fashion Week

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