The US Consulate in Lagos has held a reception for 20 Nigerian fashion designers who recently completed the International Visitors Leadership Programme, IVLP.
The 20 participants who are emerging and mid-career fashion designers were selected from across Nigeria
In a remark during the reception held at her official residence in Ikoyi, the Consulate-General, Ms Claire Pierangelo said the IVLP project titled, “Promoting Economic Growth and Trade in the Fashion Industry” was aimed at linking the participants with their US counterparts.
“The goal of this particular programme was to connect Nigerian fashion designers to representatives of the US fashion industry for mentoring and connections, earn them skills and knowledge to increase their sales and build their brands” she said
Ms Pierangelo who said she had gotten fantastic feedback on the creative impact of the Nigerian fashion designers urged them to take full advantage of the connections they had made in the course of the programme to grow their businesses and contribute their quota to the social and economic development of Nigeria
Though covid-19 prevented the participants from travelling to the US as usual, but they had the unique opportunity to connect with their U.S. counterparts, financial institutions and business incubators virtually.
In an interview with Radio Nigeria, some of the participants said the programme had enriched their knowledge of entrepreneurship, business development, and innovation and also open them up to the international community.
“It was mind-blowing, we were in Nigeria but then, we were exposed to the World, i got to see that my current location doesn’t define my global reach, i can be global even though I am in a local environment” “this Programme has really helped me to be confident and to release that what we do here locally is trendy internationally” “they are opening opportunities for us in the US, where we can sell our made in Nigeria products” the fashion designers enthused.
The event had in attendance many iconic Nigerians in the business, entertainment and fashion industry, including the first Nigerian woman to acquire professional qualification in fashion design, Mrs Sade Thomas-Fahm, and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.