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  The output from Nigeria’s fashion scene has evolved in significant ways since it began to be influenced by western styles a century or more ago. The chroniclers of this change have reported its transition from a space inhabited by a few design types to one that presently brims with uniqueness and difference. It’s now awash with numerous alternatives, each one promising to match the clothing needs of a specific demographic.
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But while traditional, formal and regular casual wear has dominated our fashion landscape for most of its existence, the country’s population has begun to embrace other dressing modes. Take streetwear, for instance. It’s a trend that’s taken off in urban Nigeria in just the past couple of decades. And it’s become the in-thing, especially among city-dwelling youth in first-tier metropolises. Initially, much of the streetwear in Nigeria was imported. But there’s recently been a surge in the number of fashion brands putting out clothes in this category. One of them, Severe Nature, is going all in on the trend, with sweaters, jackets, shorts and accessories that are expressive and echo a sense of individualism—exactly what you’d expect of streetwear. Severe Nature makes and sells garb for men and women—knickers, jeans and tracksuit pants; Tee shirts and button-down tops of varying colours; knitted vests and hoodies; and hats, pouches and bags that compliment typical urban wear. These items can be purchased from the company’s online store, which showcases a collection of them for visitors’ casual perusal.
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Established in 2012, Severe Nature was set up by a team of three: Christopher Afolabi, Tobi Adeleye, and Michael Atobalele (now late). Its first home was in Canada, and there was little trouble attracting buyers in a market that was already familiar with streetwear. But the founders soon realized that there was an opportunity to launch in Nigeria, where locally-made streetwear was still scarce. In 2016, the Severe Nature team spun a presence in their home country. They say it’s been received well, with customers voicing out their gratefulness for being able to shop for streetwear on a website and have it delivered to them in a relatively short time span. This is possible because the brand operates from within Nigeria. Since it came on the scene, Severe Nature has yielded a number of seasonal collections. They include ‘Kats’, from the spring of 2016, and ‘Forest Men’, a pre-fall of 2019 collection. There’s also the ‘S Star Knit Set,’ a multi-purpose array for 2023, which comprises tops and shorts, and is designed for use as both home wear and outing attire.
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Although some of the items on its hangers are fit for use by people across diverse demographics, this brand specifically targets Millennials and Gen Zs. Its pricing method also suggests that it has middle-class Nigerians in its sights. Featured Image Source: Severe Nature
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This article was first published on 8th March 2023

ikenna-nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.


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