Lagos Leather Fair 2023 Drives Discourse on the Future of African Creatives in the Global Leather Industry

Lagos Leather Fair, the leading leather trade event in Africa and initiative of Femi Olayebi, CEO, Femi Handbags, has further advanced the growth of the leather industry in Nigeria and Africa, at its recently concluded 6th edition. The 2-day event which was held at Balmoral Convention Centre, Lagos from 17 – 18 June, hosted over 3000 industry stakeholders, designers, creatives, and visitors as they explored the latest advancement in the leather industry and discussed growth strategies to scale the industry. 

The event is the largest gathering of leather experts and creatives in the West African region, providing an exceptional networking hub for craftsmen, tanners, leather services experts, emerging designers, industry stakeholders, and regulators, as well as a platform to celebrate creativity, excellence, and innovation through the LLF awards. 

Speaking at the event, Femi Olayebi, Founder, Lagos Leather Fair, expressed her gratitude and satisfaction at the growth, the continuity of legacy, and the impact of the annual leather fair. She said, “Once again, I am truly amazed at the wonderful turnout at the 2023 edition. I appreciate the support and expert workmanship of the many brands, creatives, and exhibitors who were a part of this year’s edition and made it an absolute success. LLF is all about the quality and innovation of the craft, and it is great to see how much effort has been put in by everyone to uphold the highest quality standards known at Lagos Leather Fair. As an industry, we need to put the extra into the ordinary, ensuring that our products can sit anywhere in the world. Nigeria is known for good quality leather, and I am confident with platforms like this, the sector will continue to advance. This fair has always been about creativity, innovation, networking, and coming together to tell the African story and I’m glad it was all captured in LLF 2023.”

The event was well-attended by key stakeholders and featured over 30 speakers who led thought-provoking conversations and workshops. One of the key highlights of the event was an insightful panel session where experts examined the creative sector with an emphasis on the leather industry. They drove the discourse on how to move the industry forward and strengthen the value chain, ensuring African creatives stay relevant globally. The session spotlighted how leather creatives in Nigeria can leverage collaboration to ensure economic growth within the industry and strategically position the Nigeria Leather industry as a premium sector globally.

Commenting further, Femi Olayebi said, “We launched this fair six years ago to change the narrative of the Nigerian leather industry and ensure professionals have a platform to deliberate on sustainable solutions and workable goals that cater to both local and global demands. We welcomed thousands of visitors during the past two days to not only explore the various developments the industry has seen and its outlook but to also build working relationships and nurture a new generation of creatives. By connecting all the parties in the industry, Lagos Leather Fair will continue to unearth lasting solutions to key challenges facing the industry, ensuring leather remains a relevant instrument for the realization of the Zero-Oil Initiative”.

The fair also hosted exciting hands-on workshops, which guided leather designers through the process of building their unique brand identities and leveraging social media for business growth.

Lagos Leather Fair 2023 was an impactful event featuring exhibitions, runway shows, and the Lagos Leather Fair Awards, the first of its kind. The winners of the maiden edition award categories included K Aspen who was awarded for the best-curated boot at the fair, Maraz who won the Brand Excellence Award, and Tender Leather Care who bagged the Trailblazer Award. Ohiole Lagos also secured the final award of the night, named the Most Innovative Designer.

The Lagos Leather Fair continues to advocate for the growth of the Nigerian Leather industry. It is a constant reminder that made-in-Nigeria leather and products, if given the right support can compete and thrive in the international markets. 

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