When Emmanuel Okoro, who began the menswear brand Emmy Kasbit in 2013, emerged as one of the top five finalists at the Lagos Fashion and Design Week Fashion Focus 2017, he probably did not imagine his talents taking him as far as Britain in a short period of time.
Okoro was the recipient of the Lagos Fashion Week, Fashion Focus Fund powered by FETS Wallet, last year. After emerging the recipient of the Fashion Focus Fund, the judges had acknowledged his exceptional talent and predicted that the award “will accelerate his business growth which will take him on the path to achieving commercial success.”
Months later, the British Prime Minister Theresa May, not usually known for her style, met with President Muhammadu Buhari after arriving in Abuja on 29 August wearing a jacket by the celebrated Nigerian designer.
On what it felt like to see his jacket on the Prime Minister, Okoro said to CNN: “Meeting the prime minister was a life changing experience. We got to talk about my brand and how I engage with these women (Artisans) who work BTS in crafting these beautiful textiles.
“Although I never knew she was the one I was the making the jacket for, I just trusted the process because all British council said was that the Person is a UK VVIP government official. And when the picture finally came out and I found out it was her, I couldn’t believe it,” he added.
May met with Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday where they both witnessed the signing of the bilateral agreement on Defence and Security Partnership by Nigerian National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and British Deputy National Security Adviser Christian Turner. They also witnessed the bilateral agreement on Nigerian Trade Development by Nigerian Minister of State Budget and National planning Hajia Zainab Ahmed and British Minister of State for Trade Policy. May expressed delight about the custom-made jacket on her Instagram.
The custom-made Akwete jacket features in Emmy Kasbit’s Spring 18 Collection. Emmy Kasbit is predominantly a menswear brand but also caters to “women who love menswear inspired outfits (power suits, jackets and work pants)” The brand showcased at the South African Menswear Fashion Week in 2016 and 2017 and was also featured at number 8 on the BlackNBold Young Designers List of 2016.