With West Africa’s love for fashion and Nigeria’s surplus of talented tailors and designers, it would be foolish to leave Lagos without some statement pieces to upgrade your wardrobe in tow. But whether it’s your first time in the city or your tenth, finding the right threads in the right places is always a challenge. Here, I’ve broken down just where to go to find the perfect pieces in this bustling metropolis—and where to snag some local Lagotian designers on Instagram from anywhere in the world.
photos by Stephen Tayo / frames styled by Alexander-Julian
“nigeria's okada bikers could be the freshest people on earth”
It might seem surprising, but some of Nigeria’s sharpest sartorial efforts can be found on the backs of the motorbikes zipping through the streets of Lagos. The bikes are known locally as keke or okada, a play on now-defunct Nigerian airline Okada Air due to their riders’ ability, albeit terrifyingly, to get you from point A to B. Riding the streets of Lagos all day can leave your eyes vulnerable to all kinds of dust and debris in a city of 21 million, and the bikers protect their peepers with pure steez.
As many Nigerians will testify: no matter the situation, style is never worth sacrificing. You’ll frequently find okada riders decked out in the most extravagant eyewear, from large embellished hot pink frames to gold-trimmed cat-eye lenses. If you’re going to hit the Lagos streets, it’s got to be done in style.
I teamed up with local photographer Stephen Tayo to capture the infamous okada bikers of Lagos in the most lavish eyewear of the season.