Nkechi Nwosu and Yewande Olagbaju; we are 2 Nigerians who met in Grenoble, France while pursing the same Master’s degree in International Human Resources. The idea for this project came to us doing a lunch break where we were reading about the declining situation of the Nigerian economy.
The Naira had started depreciating drastically – and though a good majority of Nigerians understood it was inevitable considering the fall in oil price, nobody was prepared for the harsh impact it was going to have. Students abroad had to confront a harsh reality that their monthly allowances had lost over 50% of its value and worse still, they weren’t even guaranteed to receive it regularly anymore!
So, following these daily news from France, we were inspired by the #MadeInNaija#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira social media campaign initiated by Sen. Ben Bruce to boost the economy. The campaign would challenge the creativity of Nigerians, encourage local entrepreneurs, and change the shopping culture of Nigerians to patronize made in Nigeria goods which would improve the value of the Naira.
Project Counter Culture, is therefore an initiative to promote the visibility of Nigerian and African fashion. Through this project, we hope to create the same awareness about Nigerian made fashion in France and Europe which will translate in the near future to increased exposure and patronage of African fashion. Lagos, Nigeria has consistently been ranked as one of the most fashionable cities in Africa and that style is worthy of exportation to so many more countries! African and Nigerian fashion is way beyond Danshikis!
To kick start this project- we decided to do a street-styled photoshoot showing our traditional attire in everyday life. The collection was made up of our personal Nigerian pieces that we had brought with us to France , as well as those of other Nigerian friends with us in Grenoble. Our models were our classmates who were interested in and wanted to support the project. And then we had fun on the streets of Grenoble!