Culture in itself is evolving and its different for every part of the world. Then you will notice that it becomes boring when you keep seeing the same culture over and over again. I mean why travel around the world to experience the same thing because the culture is all about the differing experience. With this in mind, fashion shows such diversity. You may not know this, but there is a culture in fashion and you are about to learn a whole lot about that.
Our typical Nigerian setting does not identify the subcultural peculiarity in fashion. There is the fear of being too different and so most people tend to go with the shirt and trouser cliché or the skirt and blouse mess. But now, you will find out that there are various subcultures that anyone can dabble in. The issue, however, is that individuals are no longer confined to the subculture in which they intend to belong to. I remember always wearing a lot of black growing up. In the western setting, I was Gothic, but I don’t remember having any dark thoughts but that’s just me. Another funny aspect is the fact that you can find a girl hawking on the road wearing a punk music t-shirt, I doubt she actually listens to punk. You see, the subcultural fashion barriers are being breached. This begs the question can we now make our own fashion culture in Nigeria?
The answer is an obvious yes.
With no fine line distinguishing between fashion culture, we can invent our own. I mean all this subculture just truly emphasise the individuality of a person. So you cannot identify quite strongly what subculture a person belongs to just by looking at them. It is a frame of mind and that mindset is yet to be adopted in Nigeria.
Hence, in creating a subculture we have to inculcate that necessary mindset because it is all about the attitude rather than the outfit. For Nigeria right now, the only way we get to express the fashion attitude may begin from actually trying to learn about the subcultures. It is necessary to drop the clichés we hang on to. The beginning of this change is not being afraid of being different. The fun of fashion is in the individuals trying to make a statement regardless of the stereotypes. This has begun to surface with brands such as Orange Culture and Maxivive for men’s wear, and Lisa Folawiyo and Tiffany Amber by Folake Coker for the ladies. They have made it possible to see the light at the end of the road that shows the glimmering future of the Nigerian fashion subculture.
So, stand proudly in front of a mirror because now you can identify your fashion culture. Just think straight and have in mind that your fashion is YOU. With our individual fashion choices, we can comfortably make fashion subcultures in Nigeria. Have the attitude and the culture will simply flow right out of your being.
Written by Nkem Ikeh