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Speech by FADAN President, Mrs. Funmi Ajila-Ladipo

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I welcome you to this press conference as key stakeholders
in the fashion and entertainment industry. Today, as you all know, the fashion industry has evolved
significantly from being an ordinary “Ma nd Pa” pastime to a big buisness with lots of commercial
value to our nation’s economy.
Today, we have witnessed an unprecedented growth in the number of people who have taken
fashion design as a profession; not to mention other young ones who are in higher institutions
learning and honing their skills in different disciplines within fashion design. We sincerely
appreciate your time with us today.
As you may be aware, we are rounding up this year’s calendar of activities with a Fashion
Exhibition titled, “A Stich In Time: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.” The 2-day event which holds on
the 19/20 December 2014, at the prestigious Muri Okunola Park in Victoria Island, will showcase
emerging designers under the auspices of DaViva, our major sponsor. The exhibition will also
feature the evolution of fashion design from the wardrobe of Princess Abba Folawiyo to the
prestigious “Ruff ‘nd Tumble.”
Moreover, the exhibition will be 2 days of networking, fun, music and social activities to provide a
bonding platform for our members. We are expecting the First Lady of Lagos State, Dame
Abimbola Fashola on the first day as she adds glamour and color to the event. Also, leading
fashion icons and friends of FADAN will grace the event. It is my hope that we can count on your
support by giving this event the publiciity and awareness that it deserves.
At this relevant juncture, I want to express sincere gratitude to our founding fathers and mothers in
the fashion industry who have set the pace that we’re following today. Special mention is made
here of Mrs. Shade Thomas Fahm, Princess Abba Folawiyo, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Chief Lai
Olumegbon (Lai tailoring), Lanre Ogunlesi (Sofisticat), Maureen Onigbanjo (Maufechi) Doyin
Sonuga (Divine) Kolawole Vaughn (Dakova) to mention a few, and all past presidents for being the
leading lights and torch bearers of our profession. We salute them all.
They had laid solid foundations for our industry on which we are building today, by making it a
worthy business and providing a training ground for young and emerging designers.
What’s more, Africa is fast becoming the new inspiration of global fashion, and it will interest you to
note that over the past seven years, international designers from around the world have been
borrowing inspiration from Africa without acknowledgment or giving back to the continent.
Therefore, the Africa garment industry must be repositioned in order to benefit financially from the
international fashion industry as a way of developing our own.
Permit me to express our profound gratitude to all our major sponsors of this exhibition. They
include Skye Bank, Airtel, Guinness Nigeria, Nike Art Gallery (that had hosted our Monthly
Designers Mart, free of charge) and DaViva. Other friends and well wishers have also contributed
as a mark of their belief in us.
I cannot end this conference without saluting my co-travellers on this journey. They are members
of the executive both at the national and state levels. Also the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for
their renewed effort in FADAN’s repositioning process.

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