Emmanuel Okoro: The Nigerian Designer Who Celebrates Culture and Sustainability

Emmanuel Okoro is the founder and creative director of Emmy Kasbit, a Nigerian fashion brand that aims to dress the unconventional men and women who have fierce sartorial instincts. Since launching his label in 2014, Okoro has been making waves in the African and global fashion scene with his bold, architectural, and colorful designs that showcase the rich heritage and craftsmanship of his Igbo culture.

Okoro’s signature style is the use of Akwete fabric, a traditional hand-woven textile that originates from the Igbo town of Akwete in Abia State, Nigeria. The fabric is made by local female artisans who use ancient weaving techniques to create intricate patterns and motifs that reflect the history and identity of the Igbo people. Okoro works closely with these weavers to source and produce his fabrics, ensuring fair wages and ethical practices.

By incorporating Akwete fabric into his collections, Okoro not only pays homage to his roots, but also preserves and promotes a dying art form that is at risk of being forgotten by the younger generation. He also creates a unique aesthetic that blends tradition and modernity, as he transforms the fabric into contemporary silhouettes and cuts that appeal to the global market.

Okoro’s designs have caught the attention of celebrities, influencers, and public figures, both locally and internationally. Some of his notable clients include Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, British Prime Minister Theresa May, American musician Masego, and Nigerian model Adesuwa Aighewi. He has also won several awards and accolades, such as the Fashion Focus Fund prize at Lagos Fashion Week in 2018, and the Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa initiative in 2020.

Okoro’s vision for Emmy Kasbit is to create timeless pieces that tell a story of culture, sustainability, and empowerment. He believes that fashion is more than just clothes, but a medium of expression and communication.