Lola Faturoti comes from a fashion conscious family and cites her grandmother as her first inspiration- "I got interested in fashion because my grandmother was a designer, she designed traditional Nigerian clothes". She infuses both her personal experiences and her connection to her Nigerian heritage into her fashion-forward designs.
In the early '90s, Faturoti came to NYC after spending some time in London studying; once in the city she took a job at Charivari where she impressed the company's president, Barbara Weiser. It was Weiser who helped Faturoti to launch her first collection- a critically acclaimed success. Faturoti took a four year hiatus after her first showing but upon her return to fashion in 1999 she put on a show that left such an impact on the fashion world that it resulted in one of her creations being bought by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and also gained Faturoti a spot on Amy Spindler's "Best in America" list , in The New York Times Magazine.
You might recall that in the following year, 2000, Faturoti wowed the world again when she essentially upstaged Ralph Lauren at the end of his show in Febuary. She had staged her own guerrilla fashion show across the street from his and captured the attention of audience members who were leaving. Not long after, Faturoti packed up and moved to Milan where she would live for four years, honing her craft and working hard to leave an impression on the international stage.
But now Lola Faturoti is back in New York and ready to stay, which is a very, very good thing for us.
"New York is my city, I love New York. I think when you're born there's a city for you, that fits perfectly and I think New York is that for me. The energy, the freedom of New York helps me to be free in my inspiration, to liberate myself".
To find out where you can purchase Faturoti's designs, please visit her website.
Photos courtesy of She Breathes and Fashion Africa.