Nigerian women are by no means the most fashionable in Africa and even beside their contemporaries in Paris, Milan, New York and London, would hold their swag up any day anytime. From haute couture to Limited Edition fashion accessories, they covet them with intense passion. Over the years, there has been an authentic list of most versatile style-icons who cut across different strata of the society. The women are mainly Lagos-based and are usually rich on account of their marriages to a formidable billionaires or their own self-made money. Their fashion prowess is never in doubt and they leave an indelible impression in the hearts of their admirers. We shall kick off this list with a lady whose sartorial elegance is never in doubt.
Vivienne Chioloji: fashion enthusiasts and style writers would argue that Vivienne is kind of a more expensive version of Nike. But whatever your argument is, you have to be endowed with a good spirit and understand life deeper for you not to envy Miss Chioloji. Making limited appearances these days and choosing where to be seen placed her on a vantage position for the style trophy. She appeared from nowhere and “attacked” the fashion world with a 9/11 intensity. From Prada to Versace, Dior, Valentino, Cavalli, Marc Jacob and even Hermes, she collects effortlessly. In fact, she is known to have a legendary collection of the insanely expensive handbags, Hermes Kelly and Hermes Birkin. She wears the latest couture gowns as modeled by top models at the international fashion shows. Consistently, she has never slipped or lowered her standard. Not too long ago at the memorial reception for Adenuga’s nephew, Adeola Randle, she was the clear winner in the style stakes on that day. Vivienne has a taste for blings too.
Florence Ita-Giwa: You can’t take away the fact that this grandmother/ex-senator is one of the most photographed women in Nigeria. She knows the esoteric lingoes of style like Prof. Atahiru Jega understands the card reader election system. The former senator and legendary socialite is the most celebrated style icon whose apparels and fashion accessories send many into a frenzy of joy. She’s been on the block for decades and her style just gets better. She wore the legendary Lebanese-born Hollywood designer to the Thisday Awards many years ago and compelled her contemporaries to eat from her palm on that day. The outfit was a show stopper. But she is more known for her exotic taste in the diamond world. She wears jewelries that would make even superstar Hollywood actresses turn green with envy. From corals to sapphires, Rubbies, agate, citrine yellow and platinum, she has them all. Ita-Giwa’s shoe collection is worthy of note as she’s known to buy the most avant-garde with a huge passion.
Nkiru Anumudu: She is without doubt the most controversial style icon on this list. This is due to the fact that pundits would argue she wears the most expensive labels in sometimes scary or funny manner. Be that as it may, the wife of Globe Motors’ boss is the all-time haute couture queen. Nkiru’s collection of iconic Italian designer Fendi has endeared her to the top echelon of that fashion house as she is reputed to usually attend the very prestigious and private fashion shows on the 5-star yachts. No one wears Parisian and Italian couture dresses like Nkiru Anumudu. At any given time, she is clad in the latest runway edition of any label she chooses to wear. She wore the choicest hats to parties as she is known to patronize the best hat makers in Britain. In the Hermes department, Nkiru is arguably the HOD! Hermes is the insanely expensive Parisian leather goods fashion house that sells ridiculously pricy hand bags. An average handbag goes for $17,000 and is made of crocodile skin. In fact, they have the iconic Hermes Himalaya handbag which is not only made of crocodile but is diamond studded. Victoria Beckham once carried this bag at the Arsenal match which took place at the United Arabs Emirate. Our dear Nkiru has been spotted with so many Hermes handbags that fashion writers have lost count.
Fifi Ejindu: This stupendously rich architect and contractor, as far as fashion is concerned, is in a league of her own. A legendary globetrotter, she has an eye for only the best and effortlessly takes the crown each time she makes an appearance. From Givenchy to Balenciaga, Celine, Ferragamo, Chanel and Alexander Mcqueen. Fifi has them all in their best numbers. Even with her sophistry in the style world, Fifi Ejindu is more renowned for her diamond collection. She covets and collects from some of the most reputable jewelers across the globe. In fact, diamond is her middle name. From FL to IF to VVS1, VVS2 to VS1 and VS2, Fifi has them in numbers. Fifi’s entrance into the world of fashion and style was with the loudest bang and the ovation was clear to all that this society lady who’s not only ravishingly beautiful was endowed with brain. Rarely seen at parties, she was last sighted at Ngozi Nkoloenyi’s wedding party for her daughter where she shone like a million stars in the company of her husband Amaechi. The real estate mogul is known to have teamed up with the Arab world’s most prestigious jeweler Devji Aurum and is said to be making huge inroads in the diamond business. She is also the pioneer of the African Fashion Show that has showcased in the UK with much success. Whenever she is sighted, Fifi is a stunner and leaves her legion of style pupils gasping for breath.
Pastor (Mrs.) Siju Iluyomade: She is the lawyer wife of Pastor Iluyomade of the RCCG, Victoria Island Parish. Even though she is not a known socialite or regular party goer, Siju to all those who know her is a world-class fashionista who has global shopping skill that is unmatched. Her husband’s parish, City of David is by far the most fashionable Redeemed church with its endless list of celebs and power brokers. On Sundays when she mounts the altar, it becomes clear to all that this light-skinned lady must have been conceived and born in one of those prestigious Atelier’s in Paris or Milan. Her wardrobe turns collectors of the best fineries green. It is an array of the most coveted pieces by the leading designers across the globe. Without any iota of doubt, Pastor Siju Iluyomade is a fashionista on a legendary formation. On Sunday, the very fashionable crowd in her church know too well that no matter how good they look, the makeup-loving woman of God will subdue all with her power dressing. From diamonds to corals, platinum and pearls, she has a discerning taste in the art of jewelry collection. She wears blings that can “restore” the sight of the blind.
During her birthday party last year, Barrister Siju wore a diamond necklace that reminded people of late Hollywood goddess, Elizabeth Taylor. It was so elaborate that most women drooled and drooled until they left the party venue. Before now, Nkiru Anumudu had been criticized for wearing funny hats no matter how expensive they are. Siju Iluyomade wears hats that defy description. Her hats are simply out of this world and always complement her outfit. Her choice of laces is usually exotic hand-painted Italian laces, unique French laces and sequence organza laces that glitter like her diamonds. Her headgear is statutorily always in super shape. In fact the unanimous agreement amongst most fashion critics is that were this woman to be a socialite who graces society parties and owambes, she would have simply been a household name. This is because her looks are in a league never seen before.
Sade Okoya: This is the 30-something-year-old wife of billionaire business mogul, Alhaji Rasaq Akanni Okoya who owns the Eleganza Industries. Today, Sade is the most favoured in the Okoya household. She has transformed into a super fashionista, with an elaborate taste for diamond jewelry unlike in her early years in the Okoya household when she wore lots of gold and coral. Sade has made her way into the super league of diamond collectors. She loves it big and dramatic. She is always seen at parties adorning intricate craftsmanship. Her jewelry is always a reference point at parties. At the 80th birthday celebration of Ijebu-born billionaire Kessigjnton Adebutu, a.k.a Baba Ijebu, Sade was a sight to behold. Her neck was held straight up by an axe shaped necklace that had matching rings the size of a door opener. Her collection of laces will rival that of Pastor Siju Iluyomade, which she complements with her 6-inche stilettos. Her style sense is never in doubt; FLAMBOUYANT!
Pastor Blessing Agboli: This is the rich lawyer and wife of presiding pastor at Victorious Army Church, Ikeja Lagos. Her husband is Joseph Agboli and is the super fashionable pastor who runs the very prosperous church that has literarily taken over the Ikeja environs. Unlike most women of God, married to pastors, Blessing Agboli is a global business icon. She is heavily into oil and gas with a fleet of vessels transporting crude oil and petroleum products across the globe. So rich is this international oil baron that she recently bought herself a swanky and fabulous private jet so as to meet up with her business commitments across the globe. She is a self-made tycoon with a penchant for the good life. She wears the most expensive fashion labels and is on one-on-one terms with the most prestigious fashion houses across Paris, Milan and New York. Her outlook on Sundays look like a battle ground for supremacy between Coco Chanel and Versace. Simply put, she is spectacular whenever in sight, very experimental and ready to try what is new, we look out for her to show us what will become the next item in years to come. With an assortment of shoes, we are talking Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blanik, Jimmy Choo and Sergio Rossi, this darling of designers with a full rounded figure parades some of the loveliest drapes. But it is her jewelry collection that puts her in the front row of style icons. Blessing is a globetrotter with a taste to die for. From Piaget to Rolex, Graff, Harry Winston, Bvlgari and even Mikimoto Pearls, she wears them all in the layers of platinum and diamonds on her wrist without looking over-dressed. She wears the best of Italian craftsmanship in a manner that is very reminiscent of the Princess Diana era. As far as fashion is concerned, Blessing Agboli can do no wrong.
Senator Daisy Danjuma: This ex-senator is the wife of billionaire oil magnate, Theophilus Danjuma. She is not only the apple of his eyes but the defacto governor-general in the general’s household. He spoils her with everything luxurious; both houses, material gifts and most recently a brand new private jet. The jet-set former lawmaker loves travelling and is known to have a holiday villa in Marbella, Spain where she goes on holiday regularly. Daisy who is also a legendary socialite is always exquisitely dressed to impress. She has a knack for intricately sewn Morrocan outfits. They are long kaftans and Tunics that give her an angelic look, usually, masterpieces from her favourite Arabian designers. But even in the traditional department she is the one to beat. At the last Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu-Ode, Daisy looked heavenly in her blouse and wrapper with her intricately cut necklace that shone like serpenti Bulgaria. Most women would gladly tell you that Daisy Danjuma is one of the biggest diamond collectors in Nigeria. She is known amongst the European and American jewelers and has an endless financial clout to collect even the fieriest stones. At her son’s wedding few years ago, Daisy had corals placed in between strings of (FL) flawless diamonds. So loud was this necklace that most society women could not help but agree that she leads in this department.
Ifeoma Ilodibe: Everyone who is true to herself and bears no grudges or nurses ill-will concedes the leadership of the jewelry department to Ifeoma Ilodibe, the wife of late multi-billionaire and founder of Ekene Dili Chukwu Transport Group of Companies. She has never been a politician neither has she executed any government contract(s). She is simply the doted wife of one of the richest Igbo men to ever live. Until his death in 2007, he lavished her with a globetrotting lifestyle that is beyond comprehension. From country to country, she acquired the best of jewels and trophy pieces fit only for a queen. Ifeoma’s collection of jewelry spans over 40 years of intense yet grand collection of the best names in the diamond and gold business. Fashion historians posit that only the likes of late Mrs. Mariam Babangida and the incredibly fashionable Erelu Ojuolape Ojora that can match Ifeoma in the art of collecting pristine pieces. She wears troy ounces of precious metals encrusted with the rarest corals, gemstones and diamonds. Coupled with the fact that she looks like a mix race lady due to her light skin looks, she is always a sight to behold. Primus interperas in the fashion barometer, she is the one to dance around. If the topic is jewelry of any kind, then her opinion is as final as a Supreme Court judgment. She sticks to traditional attires which she wears too gracefully. Her laces are of a special cut and she revels in her reputation. The irony of it all is that Ifeoma Ilodibe detests publicity of any type. For a legendary who turns up at the most fabulous parties, looking incredibly gorgeous, it is strange to not want your story in fashion and style pages. At Maiden Ibru daughter’s wedding few years ago, she displaced all the society women by wearing a rainbow coloured type of diamond necklace that was just indescribable. It was sensational. Even at recent functions, Ifeoma still tops the premier league of jewelry connoisseurs with so much panache and aura. Unlike most society women who lose their steam once they’ve lost their husbands, Ifeoma looks better by the day, and most notably remains the queen of bling-bling.
Tai Elemosho Okesanjo: No doubt, this heavenly endowed beautiful, gorgeous and stunning lady knows how to make others look beautiful and well-dressed, but give it to her, Taibat Elemosho Okesanjo knows her onions when it comes to putting on the best and the most cherished clothing for different occasions. Popularly known as Montai, a business she set up since 1999, the lady of substance has been ruling the Nigerian fashion scene for years. She is indeed one of the very few society ladies in Nigeria who knows what it entails to be a fashionista. Motai has never been caught wanting in her fashion sense as she is always well dressed be it at home, at her Surulere, Lagos office, parties and anywhere she is spotted. The beautiful lady, who served as an NYSC member at the defunct Savannah Bank delved into the importation of shoes from different parts of the world in 1999 and till date, she maintains a large volume of clientele based on their reliability on her. Feeling satisfied that she had put smiles on her customers who demand quality and long-lasting fashion accessories, Motai herself never leaves no stone unturned in making sure that she looks elegant on daily basis. She loves collecting designers like Gucci, Prada, Mauri, Rodusof, Sengarini amongst others. She also loves donning gold jewelries and is really blessed with a shape to die for.
Married to an understanding husband who knows the in and out of her business, Montai is also an ambassador of some of the top designers in the world. The society lady loves partying and is a close friend of some top Nigerian entertainers. She has been in the fashion business for years and has achieved a lot for herself. Today, Montai remains a brand to reckon with in the fashion industry. The amiable mother also ensures that her home front is not affected by her job as she takes care of her kids and husband just like she pampers her customers. In 2013, Tai Elemosho stormed the wedding party of Wosilat Okoya daughter donning a ravishingly beautiful silver lace with an equally stunning headgear to match cum expensive diamond jewelries. Tai Elemosho is indeed a woman of substance who cannot be pushed to the back when it comes to fashion display in Nigeria and beyond.