The U.S. Consulate General has honoured 20 emerging, mid-career Nigerian fashion designers who recently participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP).
During the flagship U.S. government exchange program, the participants connected with their U.S. counterparts and enriched their knowledge of entrepreneurship, business development, and innovation in the U.S. fashion industry.
The IVLP project was titled “Promoting Economic Growth and Trade in the Fashion Industry.” It provides firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture, and politics while cultivating lasting professional relationships.
By introducing current and emerging leaders to their professional counterparts in U.S. communities, the IVLP creates business, professional, and academic collaboration opportunities and offers direct exposure to American systems and values.
Welcoming the honourees, U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo explained that the U.S. Mission created the IVLP program focused on the fashion industry to strengthen economic and commercial ties between the United States and Nigeria through sustained engagement with creative industries in Lagos.
“In the last few years, Nigeria and the United States have witnessed growing cultural ties,” Pierangelo said. “This fashion IVLP project is a fantastic example of our strategic economic outreach to Nigeria’s creative industries to further strengthen economic ties through culture and fashion.”
The 20 participants exhibited some of their top-quality designs and fashion accessories at the event. Pierangelo toured each of their exhibits and learned about their experiences during the IVLP project.
An eclectic mix of guests, including Nigeria’s pioneer fashion designer, Shade Thomas-Fahm; Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; Mrs Folorunsho Alakija; and former Chairman of Access Bank, Mr Gbenga Oyebode, attended the reception hosted by U.S. Chargé d’affaires Kathleen FitzGibbon and Pierangelo.