by Tamara Walker
Certainly the most memorable 24 hours in a woman’s life is her wedding day. Each bride-to-be makes the event her own by adding a piece of herself to the festivities through something special added to the ceremony or even her dress. Breaking with tradition is gradually becoming a wedding tradition in itself.
Weddings today are much more than just an expression of a couple’s love. With all that goes into the preparation, from the flowers to the wedding hall, to the church or the beach, each wedding is different. And just as each couple and ceremony is unique, so are the bridal fashions that flow down the aisles. Some brides-to-be have stepped out of the white lace gown of norm into more exceptional attire — donning exquisite African-inspired fashions or even more non-traditional styling such as knit wear. Where does the dress?
For the Brooklyn bride, you don’t even leave the borough. In recent years, many African-American and Caribbean brides (and grooms) have turned to the traditions and attire of Africa for their ceremonies. Many have turned to suchdesigners as Nigerian Fabrics and Fashions (NFF) to bring their matrimonial dreams to life. Founded in 1990 by the Adewumi family, Nigerian Fabrics and Fashions began as an atelier for authentic traditional and contemporary Nigerian inspired fashion, with a mission to facilitate the transfer of, and give exposure to, African culture through fashion.
Editors’ Note: NFF is no longer in business.
With sixteen years under the leadership of Adewumi brothers Jonathan (CEO), Gboyega (COO), Emanuel (Designer/Vice-President of Production) and Joseph (Vice-President Business Development), NFF is one of the largest and most recognized African clothing companies in the United States — and based right here in Brooklyn. Nigerian Fabrics & Fashions designs and manufactures a wide range of styles for the special event clothing including after-five, evening, formal and bridal wear. True pioneers in the African clothing market, NFF has become synonymous with quality, authenticity and uniqueness. Their designs have been frequently featured in numerous national and international trade, cultural and lifestyle magazines and publications.
Nigerian Fabrics & Fashions was recently honored by the Museum of the City of New York by having two of its bridal designs accepted in its permanent collection. In addition, NFF designs are worn by many celebrities and international personalities such as Stevie Wonder,Wesley Snipes, Dr. Barbara Justice, Keith David, and the former Prime Minister of Guyana the Honorable Hamilton Green. Another option for that unique bride-to-be are the fashions of Susannah Curtis of the famed Ande Sew. Known for its versatile and dynamic designs, Ande Sew has recently segued into the bridal arena by making one-of-a-kind masterpieces tailored to each bride’s specifications.
The designers at Ande Sew work with the bride to achieve a unique vision and complete her dream wedding look with a knitwear based distinct originals that exude elegance and sophistication. Inspired by the thought of ”Feminine Royalty,” each gown is very dynamic and multidimensional, using lots of flowing layers andsplashes of metallic trims. Each gown captivates the eye, reminiscent of a royal garment– insuring that each bride will feel like a queen.