Rhoda Aguonigho on Building a Fashion Hub Without Borders


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Rhoda Aguonigho is a Fashion entrepreneur and cultural & creative industry advocate who is very passionate about the Creative industry in Africa. Rhoda is currently the Founder of Lhaude Fashion Network, a fashion hub that creates opportunities for emerging fashion startups and creatives across Nigeria and Africa to thrive and grow. As a project manager she has worked on some of Africa’s top fashion events and programs. They include Lagos Fashion Week, Lagos Fashion Awards, The Leap Project and many more.  

When the BUKZONE team asked about her attractions to the fashion industry and what she is set to achieve. She said: “As a pretty young girl, I watched a lot of lifestyles and my interest in the fashion industry was more of wanting to design outfits. Then, I started styling, writing and then grew into becoming a magazine fashion editor, I started to do project management, working at fashion events, etc, and that is how I have grown in the industry”.

She also said, she’s set to achieve an ecosystem in Africa where the fashion business is sustainable and profitable, a system where creatives get constant opportunities to grow and thrive, where there is no gap between the emerging creatives and the top professionals.

Challenges

For Rhoda, her first challenge was access. At the time she started, she was in school, and not in Lagos which is seen as the fashion capital of Nigeria. She was running a fashion network and needed the support of fashion experts. But things started to get better as she finished school and was able to get into the fashion industry fully with a job.

Another challenge she mentioned was funding. She said, “you don’t have a lot of organisations giving grants or funds to fashion businesses or initiatives. Being an organization putting together events, initiatives, and needed funds to execute them. There was no amount that we could charge the participants that would cover the cost”.

Impact of Technology

Rhoda believes technology is helping to widen access to the market, improve collaboration among fashion enthusiasts, experts and make the fashion community across the world much closer. She also said technology is cutting down on waste. With 3D fashion, designers don’t have to create a physical collection to present. They can do it via 3D and clients select what they want and the designer makes the actual pieces. 

The Modern Fashion Industry

One of the things that excite Rhoda is the infusion of technology into Fashion. The fact that innovation is limitless. She is so excited about the innovation, new ideas, new technology that are to come out from fashion with technology. Another thing she mentioned is how as an African, there are no limitations to how you can express your creativity or culture, there are no border limitations, because of tech, we can express it to the whole world.

The third part is building a community. That is, as a fashion executive in Lagos, she can connect with a fashion executive or designer in London, Scotland, Australia, etc building communities connected by our passion and drive for creativity, regardless of cultural differences.

About the Future

Rhoda sees Lhaude being Africa’s foremost fashion community. The fashion hub where creatives across Africa and the globe plugin to Create, Connect and Collaborate. She sees the Nigerian Fashion industry as one of the leading fashion industries across the world. An industry that will be known for innovation, creativity, and originality. With a rich culture and creative people leading the fashion sphere across the world.

Advice to Entrepreneurs

Be resilient, innovative and do not give up. Do not be comfortable with the state of your business or your business idea, constantly innovate, constantly grow. 

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