5 Nigerian Knitwear Brands You Must Know

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Many people associate knitwear either with their childhood or with old women in rocking chairs. These clichés have to go. Fashion’s impulse to reinvent and reinvent everything is evident in the current rise of knitwear, a style trend popping up on TikTok, catwalks, and more fashionable covers.

The same effect has impacted the Nigerian fashion industry. A whole host of designers have emerged, bringing their own twists to knitwear. The nostalgic return to Y2K dressing could help shape how young Nigerians wear and style knitwear. Regardless of fashion preferences, knitwear is an indispensable part of the wardrobe. And these Nigerian brands show a fun, nuanced side.

Elexiay

Founded in 2018 by Elyon Adede, Elexiay is a perfect example of how knitwear can shed its traditional yokes and embody something fresh. As a distinguishing feature, Elexiay is a crochet brand that models the female figure with fashion chic. Every design is lyrical and luxurious, be it this sky blue cashmere occasion wear, this crocheted crop top with a corset lacing in the back, or this brown knitted multi-strap bustier.

Last year, fast fashion company Shien was in the news for copying a creation by Elexiay, a cross-rib sweater that became the brand’s flagship craftsmanship and community. Elexiay is powered by a workforce of Nigerian women who come together in an artisanal spirit. Jobs are created, knowledge shared while maintaining sustainability practices.

Studio Imo

If a Nigerian celebrity wears crochet or knitwear, chances are they are from Studio Imo. Founded in 2013 by design duo Edwin Okolo and Imobong Emah, the brand has steadily worked its way into the corridors of Nigeria’s prominent grapevine, from Dakore Egbuson-Akande to Linda Ejiofor-Suleiman to Adekunle Gold. While you’d find Studio Imo’s knitwear in macramé patterns, swinging fringes, slim silhouettes and even plunging necklines, the brand never loses sight of its overall conservatism, crafting heirlooms treasured for their craftsmanship and durability.

Knitwear has come a long way lately, but the brand still sees a coolness in the outdated volume codes of knitwear. Over the years, Studio Imo frontman and creative director Edwin has learned that yarn choice can have a massive impact on branding. There must be an intention behind the yarns used and their marketing. Edwin’s choice allows him to get away with design choices that would look dated in any other medium.

Guy

Concepts of sustainability and ethical textiles, while not exclusive to the Nigerian fashion industry, have become nothing more than pose. When Vogue Italia did a feature on Bloke in 2016, highlighting him as one of the emerging talents transforming fashion around the world, the brand’s sustainability expertise was a notable component. Since its founding in 2015, Bloke has whimsically blurred gender lines, a message it has interpreted through a variety of textiles.

It was a family friend who introduced founder Faith Oluwajimi to machine knitting, which is why the brand has a special attachment to knitwear, whether it’s long cardigans with graphic prints, two-tone knit dresses or cropped wrap tops for male models.

Wollstrasse 21

While still operating on a small scale, 21 Wool Street has a brand history centered on what it means to be young and outgoing. And that also includes offering your offers at low prices. Focusing on accessories was an entry point to become familiar with the brand. For example the Jadesola bag, which has become a status symbol among influencers.

Floyd Cardigan Collection

Veronica Omoniyi Ogochukwu Shokoya launched Floyd Cardigan Collection in 2016 as a practical ready-to-wear brand. And as the name suggests, cardigans are a core product, as are casual sweaters and vests that prioritize comfort and lightness. The clever use of color blocking has become a trademark. Her pieces can be worn separately, giving her so much styling potential that she feels like streetwear.

The brand doesn’t see its consumers as monoliths. In its latest collection, which appeared this year, it presented itself from a cuddly feminine side, be it in the form of knitted bandeau tops or micro minis. Though socks may seem bland and understated, the Floyd Cardigan Collection makes them a necessary part of the brand’s knitwear arsenal.

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