It is a pretty good feeling when you wake up to Vogue's Online Editor Marjon Carlos writing about Lagos and its most fashionable sisters. Its an even better feeling when the Magazine shares your thoughts on how fascinating these two Nigerian Sisters Chichi and Ogo Offodile are only the most dynamic fashion duo to come out of Lagos, Nigeria and unto the international scenes where they are recognized for their prominent styles. I'm highlighting all my best parts from their Vogue magazine feature so keep reading and be Inspired by the Offodiles.
The stunning duo were frequently photographed as they made their way through Milan and Paris at the Spring 2017 shows. Ogo’s love of experimental designs contrasts with Chichi’s sleek and subtle take on dressing—a juxtaposition the two have shared since they were little girls growing up in Lagos. “There is an ongoing joke from our mother. She always says, ‘Why did I go through labor twice for you two? I should have had you as twins!’ As sisters, we have always been complementary opposites,” Ogo tells Vogue.com.
In Lagos, There Is Always an Occasion to Dress Up For
There is an intimate affair that exists in Lagos with fashion and style. It is a strong avenue for self-expression and a committed way of life reflected through our culture, daily encounters, happenings, leisure, and experiences. The opportunities to cultivate fashion as a lifestyle are endless in Lagos because there isn’t a week or weekend short of an occasion to attend. We have always appreciated the juxtaposition and versatility that exists with deciding to adorn oneself with garments richly buried in customs, cultural affiliations, and heritage to attend a traditional wedding, versus wearing a tailored skirt suit or modern shift dress to attend a product launch event. Fashion isn’t an afterthought here—rather, it is engraved and custom-made to fit the lifestyle of a Lagosian. There is seriousness here in looking and feeling good.
Sisterly Style Broken Down
Ogo Offodile: Chichi is extroverted, vibrant, and blatant in personality; and I am introverted, methodical, intended, and subtle in personality. We are both assertive in our approaches but have mastered the art of playing up strengths when required or taking a backseat when needed. Over the years, we have understood just how well our two personas create a successful working balance in business. This same dynamic extends to our closets!
Our wardrobes do a complete switch and take on the opposite personalities described above. My closet is very outgoing and experimental in nature, while Chichi’s closet is very subtle and a direct contrast of her personality. We have different body types as well, so our shopping patterns are quite comical and we find ourselves giving unsolicited style advice. You can always hear us say things like “Chichi, put some color in your life and try something else,” or “Ogo, just decide, pick one, and let it go.” I shop months in advance, analyze every purchase, and can spend hours shopping for finds. You would think I was paying me to be my own personal shopper. Chichi, on the other hand, shops in 30 minutes and has more than likely bought the same silhouette. Ultimately, we are individuals each working to her own beat.
The Creative Class Is Leading the Way
Style in Lagos has become more exploratory over the years. Although traditional styles are still deeply rooted, we see more external influences used as inspirational references. It’s a perfect blend of old and new. We have seen tremendous leaps specifically within the art, beauty, and fashion industry toward being recognized as a critical player in economic growth and important catalysts for job creation, wealth, and cultural engagement. We are particularly excited to see this creative trend continue its momentum!
Moving From Business to Fashion Like Real Lagosians
We worked at the top of our careers as technology consultants in the corporate world, so it is exciting to follow the evolution of technology and continually apply our knowledge gained into the business of fashion. We have always recognized the natural calling we had with fashion and took steps early on to tap into that creative space and gain the necessary experiences. As a result, the decision to expand our entrepreneurial portfolio into luxury retail and distribution is one that has been a labor of love. This shift in focus is inspired by our need to fulfill three things: an identified gap, deliver on a perspective we are passionate about sharing, and make sustainable contributions within the fashion industry in Africa.
Bringing Luxury Fashion Back to Africa
Chichi: The ultimate goal has always been to move back home and contribute to our society. I made the big move to Lagos this year, but Ogo is still traveling back and forth at the moment. The timing is especially exciting and ideal for us now because the luxury consumer climate in Africa is being redefined and we want to be a part of that shift. We are currently carving a real opportunity to define a luxury universe customized for Africans, which also determines how other markets consume luxury that stem from Africa and reflect an African identity. This is where we are most passionate and focusing our efforts.
They are indeed a stylish pair and i cant wait to see what they have up their fashion sleeves. Read the full Vogue Interview right here.