A Hidden Jewel
Reni Folawiyo is a name you probably have not heard of. Business Of Fashion named her one of the 500 most inflluential people in the fashion industry. Folawiyo, a Nigerian business woman opened a luxury hub concept store on Victoria Island in Nigeria. The store is called Alara, which means ‘wondrous performer’ in Yoruba and you will find it easy to come across pieces by Stella McCartney, Valentino, Marni and Dries Van Noten alongside up-and-coming african designers.
Folawiyo was born in London but raised in Nigeria, and after studying Law at the University of Warwick she returned home to work at her father’s law firm. She later left the firm to begin her own venture and opened an interior design company. Alara was opened in 2014 after Folawiyo saw the need for a local luxury market. Before Alara most Nigerians who could afford it would fly to London for their shopping. The store has been a success and just a few weeks ago it hosted Naomi Campbell on her visit to the African Fashion Week ‘Arise Fashion’. With its selection of world class designers, Alara definitely has the potential to be the missing link that can connect African designers to the rest of the world.