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Case Study: Folashade Thomas-Fahm

Case study: Folashade
Portrait of Victoria Folashade Thomas-Fahm

Victoria Folashade Thomas-Fahm is known as the first modern fashion designer in Nigeria.

She was trained at Central Saint Martins in London and is credited for introducing ready-to-wear clothing in Nigeria during the 60s and 70s. She designed innovative clothes by mixing Nigerian textiles and styles with a western silhouette. Thomas-Fahm is the originator of the “boubou,” a design she created to give a feminine touch to the male “agbada” for women.


She owned a popular design outfit and store, “Shade’s Boutique” in Lagos. Her clients were Nigerian urban elites and other clients in the global fashion scene as she was involved in international fashion shows (Mears, 2020).

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Folashade Thomas-Fahm at the London – Commonwealth Fashion show 1967:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

“In the 50s and 60s there was a kind of confusion about our identity. Everything Western was being praised and nobody seemed to care about our own indigenously produced materials. I just never felt that way. So many things the world enjoys came from Africa. I think it’s about time that they stop pretending they don’t get so many of their ideas from us.” (Thomas-Fahm, 2021)
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Africa to the World: Analysing the Global Appeal for African Luxury Fashion

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