- Title: NIGERIA: Traditional family dress grows popular in Nigeria
- Date: 6th March 2013
- Summary: VARIOUS OF FASHION MAGAZINES
- Embargoed: 21st March 2013 12:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Fashion,People
- Reuters ID: LVAC3SDDXG9YDQ5RZ7224UEL02BU
- Story Text: Guests arrive at a traditional wedding ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, clad in the best aso ebi outfits or dresses made of matching fabric and designs usually worn by family and friends of the bride.
The uniformed clothing often done in colorful African fabric and creative designs, has become an important part of Yoruba culture over the years and is often seen at various social functions like weddings and naming ceremonies.
Nigeria has a vibrant wedding industry and ceremonies are usually grand and colourful.
Many Nigerian couples like to hold traditional wedding first and white wedding thereafter, giving those who attend a chance to put on their best aso ebi outfits.
"Aso ebi, to a Yoruba person is just to know that these people are a group of people, maybe they can be friends who are putting on aso ebi, but in our own case, this is the family. Usually, in our family, when one of us has anything to do, we will rally round to buy aso ebi so that we can come together as a group and as a family," said Olajumoke Adekola, a guest at the wedding.
The Yorubas make up one of the largest community in Nigeria and come from the South-West region.
The traditional dress has been embraced by many other communities in the country and is now a nationally accepted trademark at almost all events.
At Lagos' largest textile market, Bolagun, traders display their fabric hoping to attract people passing by the road nearby.
About 80 percent of textiles sold here mainly from China.
Gbadamosi Oluwaseun, sells fabric at the market and says there is high demand for fabric sought by customers who wish to make similar outfits for functions.
"It makes things (business) grow everyday because it's everyday that most people do ceremonies like naming ceremony, weddings and this final burial," she said.
Not wearing an aso-ebi outfit to a particular function is usually seen to reflect negatively.
With the emergence of various trendy designs and fabrics like lace and ankara, it's become easier for asobi lovers to pick and choose their desired look from fashion magazines, that can be easily found at newspaper stalls in town.
The fancy dress trend has also seen designers invest in the business targeting both young and old customers.
Wura Adepoju, is a fashion designer based in Lagos.
"Eighty percent of the clothes we've made this January, I mean this January, February has been aso-ebi. You find out that a lot of people right now, they will tell you they don't even have their own clothes again because if you are going for, if I want to go for your own wedding and you have your own aso-ebi and if I'm going for another person's wedding, she has her own aso-ebi so mostly, people don't even buy clothes again, most people don't go shopping again because there's always aso-ebi for every occasion," she said.
Though some aso ebi designs can be costly to commission, the outfits are usually seen as an expression of unity and support among family and friends.
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