By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Chigozie Xavier Obetta, an architect turned fashion designer, has emerged the winner of a special fashion show – ‘A Case of Love – Lagos Meets Amsterdam in Fashion’ organized by Nigerian Breweries in collaboration with the Netherland Embassy in honour of the visit of H.E. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands to Nigeria. The event took place at Heineken House, Ikoyi on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
The event had seven young Nigerian fashion designers showcase their works after undergoing a one-week master class fashion training from the renowned and globally recognized Dutch Fashion designer, Mr. Mattijs van Bergen who also showcased his designs.
Obetta came tops after beating six other fashion designers who participated in the competition. They include; Aishat Opeyemi, Ijeoma Ajana, Olajumoke Ademilua Balogun, Mariam Ali, Ayetomowo Funmilayo Elizabeth and Ifedolapo Adekolu.
While speaking at the event, the Prime Minister of Netherland, Mr. Mark Rutte represented by the Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Jan van Weijen expressed great pleasure to be part of the gathering, noting that it marked an opportunity for both countries to connect and showcase creativity.
“This is an event where creativity knows no border. Here we are to celebrate fashion from Lagos and Amsterdam. It is a nice journey of self-created Nigeria designs. It is also a time to celebrate the growing relationship between Nigeria and the Netherlands. Today we would witness fashion at another level with the designers revealing their nice and delectable outfits,” Rutte said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by his Special Assistant on Diaspora and Foreign Relations, Mr. Jermaine Sanwo Olu, commended Nigerian Breweries Plc for its significant contributions towards the economic prosperity of the state which he said can be seen in a lot of initiatives it has embarked upon over the years.”This event highlights the collaboration between the two countries in developing the next generation of entrepreneurs. We recognize the immense role being played by the company to promote entrepreneurship through the fashion industry,” he said.
In his remarks, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel, expressed appreciation to all attendees for honouring the invitation. He noted that the company is not only focused on harnessing and encouraging talents in the fashion industry but also to promote the art of entrepreneurship in the industry.
Bel noted that the outstanding collections which emanated from the 7-day intensive training organized for the participants has shown that young Nigerian fashion designers can be a strong force to reckon with in the global fashion industry if properly tutored in both the art and business.
Obetta and the first runner-up, Aishat Opeyemi won an all-expense paid trip to Netherlands to witness the 2020 Amsterdam International Fashion Week courtesy of Heineken, KLM and the Dutch Embassy in Nigeria.