The show opened with a dazzling retrospective of pieces inspired by Sagoe’s 25-year career. From luxe Russian-doll skirts and voluminous shoulders in bold African fabrics to bright dresses embroidered and painted with almost cartoon-like characters, the collection was intended to be “playful, joyful,” an homage to some of Deola’s favorite designs. “They’re unique, but still close to the body and flattering. That’s always how I design. I want women to wear the clothes and feel marvelous,” Sagoe told Ecouterre after the show.
Sagoe designs for a very specific woman, one who is “not bashful; a woman who pursues happiness and freedom.” Her designs have also long embraced her Nigerian roots, supporting local artisans through responsible sourcing and craftsmanship. “I know the women who make the textiles and we hand-sew everything,” Sagoe said. “It’s a cycle of honoring the women who make the clothes and empowering the women who wear the clothes.”
While the models remained frozen on the platform wearing Deola’s retrospective pieces, other models, clad in the fresh, infinitely wearable clothes of Clan, filed in and almost symbolically flanked the platform.
Teni, Aba, and Tiwa Sagoe launched Clan with the objective of being “what Miu Miu is to Prada” to Deola. Inspired by nature and origami, the clean-lined, color-blocked collection stood in contrast to Deola’s more-opulent pieces, much in the way you’d expect a daughter would next to her mother.
Standouts from the Clan collection included a cream-and-tomato jumpsuit, along with a long, black peplum gown with a daring side slit.
“The collection is very minimal. We try to use the littlest details we can to create a maximum effect, like draping and folding,” Teni, who represented her sisters at the presentation, told us. “Our brand is all about versatility and practicality. That’s what guides us when we design. I want women of all sizes, races, ages to be able to wear our clothes.”
The collection was also intentionally animal-friendly. “I opted from suede-ettes and leather-like materials because I feel they wear and last better and we wanted to appeal to the vegan consumer, as well. We plan to do more eco-friendly garments because we love nature,” Teni added.
“We want to change the face of fashion in Nigeria. Our looks are different, because we as sisters are so different. But they’re also affordable,” she said.