Recently, the fashion industry in Nigeria has experienced a rise in the number of fashion shows and exhibitions in existence.
This gives us a clue as to how much exposure the industry is coming into and how we are beginning to realize our potential in the fashion world.
A lot of things come into play in organizing the events, and it is fashion-sense for designers that plan to put shows together to know how others have done it.
That is why we reached out to the Arcade Fashion show team and went over what it took to put the last show together. This show happens in South West Nigeria around December every year. We observe that quite a number of fashion shows happen around December, this may be because the end of the year prompts people to reflect and review more, as well as prepare for the goals set for the coming year.
Mauvelli spoke with Ademiloye Oluwatosin Adeshola, the Creative Director of the Arcade Agency.
The Arcade Agency plans, organizes and executes the Arcade Fashion Show. Arcade Agency is a media platform that was launched with the aim of exposing creatives to the world. The agency is into modelling, photography and cinematography amongst other things. Adeshola shed light on the things he encountered while organizing the Arcade Fashion Show.
What Was It Like Organizing A Fashion Show In Ibadan?
Standing in Nigeria’s brown roof city, and declaring to designers that there is a fashion show that is coming up and you all will love it will require a lot of effort to pull off.
Well, according to Adeshola, it was hectic and stressful but it was worth it all because he enjoyed doing it and he was aware that the stress was necessary for giving value to society.
Who needs partners for a show?
Having partners when organising an event takes a huge load off the organizer’s neck, so it made sense to us when we learnt that in planning for AFS, the Agency looked for partners and sponsors. However, getting partners can sometimes be quite difficult, as Adeshola himself said in his response below.
“Getting partners and sponsors are very challenging because the sponsors want to be sure they will have value for the effort and input”, Adeshola said.
The task is not ‘getting sponsors’ then, the task is creating value.
He went ahead to explain that the environment also contributed to the difficulty in getting partners because fashion shows were new to the potential partners and he had to do a lot of sensitization on how much value there can be in fashion shows. Eventually, a few brands came on board to support with minimal resources and the event was a success.
The logistics of the Arcade Fashion Show
Getting the venue was one of the main issues that the Arcade fashion show organizers faced because most of the event centres in Ibadan were built for proper concerts and did not fit the purpose.
Eventually, after a long search, Adeshola said they found and settled for Palms Mall in Ring Road, Ibadan. Since finding the venue, it has been used for subsequent shows because it fits the profile of what is needed for the show.
There isn’t a runway without models, makeup artists and the other necessary people that make fashion the showbiz industry that it is. In setting up the venue and getting the models ready, Arcade Fashion Show partnered with other brands that provided services that included decoration, makeup, and hairstyling.
This went some miles in making the financial burden lighter on the organizers.
Was it all a Runway Event?
No, it was not.
Because a little variety gives more sauce, the Arcade Fashion Show had other elements infused in the show. There were performing artists who graced the stage to entertain the audience. Some of the performers were Keanzo, Cymbals and Oyinkansade.
In a Runway show, fashion items have to be sold. So yes, there were exhibition sessions for fashion entrepreneurs to sell their wares for three days.
The show also had masterclasses with notable facilitators to learn from.
Was there a need for AFS in the first place?
There are different reasons why people organize shows. For some, it is the need to establish their authority in the industry, for others it could be anything including money, and wanting a bigger audience.
We asked Adeshola for the reason AFS was started and he said his assessment that there is a dearth of fashion shows in Nigeria. He decided to tackle that need through the Agency because according to him, “I dislike when people complain about an industry and they are not ready to take the lead to solve such problems”.
What challenges should people expect when planning a fashion show?
Some of the challenges that the Agency faced have already been mentioned. Finding and selecting the right venue was a challenge only for the first show because the venue is now always used for the yearly show.
Getting partners and sponsors was a major one that cropped up even after the first Arcade Fashion Show. However, some challenges got easier to deal with after the first time, one of those was setting up a good team.
“Get knowledge, don’t focus only on your passion. Get a team that is ready to achieve greatness like you and make it happen.”
The Director shared that the need for like minds who were willing to put in the work was one challenge that got easier after the first show. This helped the team achieve a more organised and successful show in 2019.
Getting a first-hand interaction with the Creative Director of the Arcade Agency proved again that fashion shows are not things to be rushed into. They require a lot of planning, effort and funding. The right team and partners can turn an idea into an astounding fashion show.
On the other hand, brilliant concepts for fashion shows can end up coming out bland, if a good team is not in place to execute it or things like funding, venue and others are not in place.