Every girl, fashionable, stylish or just a jean and tee girl have one thing in common, “BAGS”. There are those of us who need to have one, i.e that’s all of us, there are those of us who love bags and want every good and timeless piece be it premium brands or just quality ( The collectors ) and there are some of us who just go with whatever trend is out there.
I fall in the category of the collectors, as long as it’s of a good quality with a timeless design and I can afford , I’m buying it , I might not have an outfit or occasion for it , it doesn’t matter , one day I would have a use for it. …. Please don’t shake your head for me. Lol
Growing up, I only knew and had American and European brands, except the round leather bag and wallet my dad got me from Kano I think I was in Jss1 at the time. I had always wondered why it was hard to find a made in Nigeria bag and when you finally find one, the quality is totally off.
My first contact with a Nigerian bag designer was in 2012, I was job hunting at the time and I wanted to channel my love for fashion and bags into profit but I had no idea or knowledge of the business side of fashion, I just had a few drawings here and there, nothing great… A friend (rest he’s soul) introduced me to Zainab Ashadu of ZASHADU and she was great and willing to mentor but I got lazy and that was the end of the story.
My first contact with ZASHADU BAG was love at first sight , it was the making of the TKO (Total Knock Out) bag. She had posted a video of it on Instagram and from the way they filed and neatened the leather, you just want a piece. Shortly after, I saw one with a friend and I just had to spend 5 minute with the bag there is something about its Pettit size with a very unique design, the finishing on both the outside and inside is all shades of awesome.
ZASHADU BAGS– are premium luxury bags made from farmed exotic skins (leather) with fine finishing which are sourced locally and rough cut precious stones set in brass.
The l British/Nigerian luxury brand, the brand also makes sandals and belts and they have a Kids collection. Their bags range from N22000-N211000 ( I did at the current pound exchange rate) and you can find a ZASHADU BAG here ; Zashadu Studio Ikoyi, ALARA LAGOS, LONDON DURO OLOWU, PARIS -Franck et Fils DUBLIN- Dipili Boutique. http://zashadu.com/
O’Eclat Designs– (pronounced O-eyklah), I met later in 2012 while I was planning a cervical cancer shoot through the same friend. And she was such a delight same were her bags, I was there to pick only about 5-8 for the shoot, I ended up taking 15 if I remember correctly. All I needed was bags with green or teal in them but boy… I just kept picking. Am I allowed to say you could turn the bag inside out and you would still be able to carry them and be fabulous , the clutches, totes , shoulder bags, all fabulous. Well 1 got one as a gift and if I may emphasize she makes timeless pieces.
The brand locally produces beautifully handcrafted pieces with special fous on but not limited to h using leather only, includes rich African prints and indigenous hand-woven fabric with a contemporary twist. The bags range from N10, 000 – N38,500 ( they could cost more depending on your specification). You can find and O’eclat bag here ;Chuwee and Plummy Store- 6 Abubakar Koko Crescent,Off Maitama Sule,Asokoro, Abuja, Grey Velvet Stores- Centro Lekki Mall Lekki Phase I Lagos. Grey Velvet Stores-Port Harcourt Mall,Port Harcourt, Reacon Dutyfree shop- Departure Area, Murtala Mohammed Int’l Airport,Lagos. http://market.myasho.com/ http://oeclat.com/
Jakar Lagos , Lola Adeoti and Gidan Nodza , I came across recently and each designer has their own uniqueness , especially with the cut and shapes, by looking at each product , you know who has designed which.
Gidan Nodza- they use locally sourced exotic leathers and they make their own fabrics, to each client’s specification or you could pick from what’s available. With Gidan Nodza, every product is crafted with emphasis on its uniqueness as an expression of individual style and no two creations are the same. I have not had one up close but while speaking to the designer, she explained she dyes the fabric herself hence why you can’t find any of their designs randomly. But you have got love these bags. There is a vast collection of products to choose from and a variety of online stockists from where you can purchase these works of fascinating beauty and style including but not limited to:
afrimod.com | afrobunch.co | myasho.com or at Zazaii : 36 Balarabe Musa Crescent off Samuel Manuwa Street Victoria Island Lagos Nigeria. They range from N22000 upwards
JAKAR LAGOS – for the professional girl and if you love box bags and shoulder bags, JAKAR is your go to. I recently held one of the JAKAR piece and words can’t express the feeling, the leather felt good, and the interior was well done, I remember looking at the treading and no bends whatsoever, it was neatly sown, no rough edges, no glue sticking out, the leather was soft so you know you would be having no cracks, all you need do is keep away from dust and clean with a soft cloth. The bags are simple unique and must have for every working lady. For N15,000 you can have yourself a jakar Lagos bag . Find them on Instagram @jakarlagos
Lola Adeoti – Found the brand while working on a project and the designer basically schooled me on leather and what goes with what.
Weekenders, Totes , travel bags … it’s all chic and trendy with the lola adeoti brand. Please note, they do not mean to be rasist but it’s all leather and no Ankara mixtures. Find them on Instagram @lolaadeoti and they range from N20,000 up.
All of these bags are affordable luxury as I like to call them.
Photo Credit; Instagram