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I Accessed Luxury Fashion at ALARA

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Ifeanyi Okpala chats with Reni Folawiyo at the Louboutin Launch Party

Deep down, I have always been a Fashionista. I might not have all my posts on social media bearing captions preaching the gospel of fashion but those pictures say a lot about my affinity to fitting clothes, exquisite shoes and occasional hats. I love sporting cool foot wear and looking dapper in suits; however, I have never been up, close and personal with luxury fashion before. Access Bank afforded me that opportunity. I was extremely delighted when I was notified that as an active Solo Account holder, I was allotted an invite to an exquisite event which took place on Saturday, November 19th, 2016, at Alara concept store in Victoria Island, Lagos. Being a special guest at the Lagos launch of Christian Louboutin, a globally renowned footwear and accessories designer, at ALARA Lagos was not only enthralling, it put a step closer to my aspiration of being a Christian Louboutin owner one day.

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I met with the beautiful Reni Folawiyo, CEO & Founder of ALARA, who, according to the Wall Street Journal, seeks to redefine luxury fashion for Nigerians. In my 10-minute chat with her, she happily confirmed that the store is rapidly becoming a fashion destination for Nigerians and Westerners alike. She noted that she is particularly delighted with the mix of fashion, art and design that Alara offers which is similar to global concept stores like Paris’ Colette, London’s Dover Street Market and Milan’s 10 Corso Como. It stocks a range of western designers including Stella McCartney, Dries Van Noten, Marni and Valentino. Also, Folawiyo looks to champion Nigerian design, stocking the work of Maki Oh, Lanre de Silva Ajayi and Tiffany Amber. Little wonder she named the store, ALARA meaning ‘wondrous performer’ in Yoruba.

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The event began at 7pm and guests were tastefully treated to a lavish cocktail, good music and a particularly sonorous performance from Godwin Strings, a Nigerian Violinist, alongside two South African dancers. I was mesmerized by the store’s intricate exhibit-style architecture which was transformed into a French cabaret house, featuring strong elements of French culture. The launch party, themed ‘ALARA Rouge,’ recreated a night at the Moulin Rouge in Paris and guests were treated to a truly unique experience as we explored the new Louboutin collection.

Watch all the glamour right now:


ALARA was created by Reni Folawiyo, and the luxury outlet is rapidly becoming a fashion destination for Nigerians and Westerners alike. According to ‘The Business of Fashion, 2016,’ it offers a mix of fashion, art and design in a similar style to global concept stores like Paris’ Colette, London’s Dover Street Market and Milan’s 10 Corso Como. It stocks a range of western designers including Stella McCartney, Dries Van Noten, Marni and Valentino. Alongside this, Folawiyo looks to champion Nigerian design, stocking the work of Maki Oh, Lanre de Silva Ajayi and Tiffany Amber.

Written by Ifeanyi Okpala

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