Often, when we hear about African designers in the niche world of bespoke menswear, the name that springs to mind is British-Ghanaian Ozwald Boateng. We also hear every now and then, British-Nigerian Emmy Collins. Hardly do we hear, however, especially on an international front, the name Mai Atafo.
Mai Atafo, however, is a hidden gem in Nigeria’s fashion industry and if he will be discriminatory with platforms he shows his designs as well as infuse a strong marketing/advertising and promotions plan into his business, we believe his name will become as common place as Ozawald Boateng’s.
For Spring/Summer 2013 Mai Atafo displayed a menswear collection at the MTN Lagos Fashion & Design Week that showed the careful attention to fit, strong tailoring and design details. For starters, we liked his color palette. He played with royal blues, blues, navy blues, whites and black. We also loved the styling and his accessories that complimented his designs.
This season, the Mai Atafo man, as presented, was confident, self assured but not cocky. He was the definition of cool, calm and collected, successful, and had a definitive purpose all of which was reflected with every choice of clothing he put on. A casual well tailored blue denim shirt and pants with a a blazer to go over it reflected his discerning taste and comfort level. This did not change when it also came to operating on the highest level i.e. on the red carpet of a highly coveted award show or the boardroom negotiating important business deals.
Overall, a well executed collection. We think it would be interesting to see the growth and evolution of the Mai Atafo man in future collections to come.