Fashion icon, Abah Folawiyo, covers Allure magazine

Abah Folawiyo

Popular fashion designer, Abah Folawiyo, is the star of the latest edition of Allure magazine, a glossy lifestyle pull-out by Vanguard Newspapers.

As she turns 75 this July, the style icon sat down with Allure’s Yemisi Suleiman to relive her past experiences, challenges as a designer, life as a widow and her expectations for the fashion industry.

Folawiyo is one of the iconic names that ruled the Nigerian fashion industry as early as the 70s.

She was part of the first people to spearhead a fashion revolution that embraced the beauty of the Ankara fabrics.

Famously known by her fashion label Labanella, she took fashion to a whole new level with her exquisite designs and unique style.

The woman of style is the widow of the late business mogul and philanthropist, Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo.

Abah went into the business of fashion when Nigerians did not appreciate home-grown fashion designers and were solely relying on imported ready to wear clothes.

As early as 1963, she had emerged as the best designer at VC-10, an award show in Ghana. Her winning prize was a first class ticket to London.

While in London she did an internship and training with a foremost designer in the UK. She returned home in 1977 and founded Labanella Creations in 1978.

She has continued to set the pace as a custodian of style as she fills the position of Honorary Matron of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.