Models on the runway at GTBank Fashion used for illustration


Twenty emerging, mid-career Nigerian fashion designers have been selected to participate in the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), the premier professional exchange program of the U.S. Department of State, a statement from U.S Consulate, Lagos has said.

The virtual IVLP project titled, “Promoting Economic Growth and Trade in the Fashion Industry,” will offer a professional and cultural exchange opportunity on topics including current trends and successful business practices in the U.S. fashion industry and the practicalities of marketing and promoting African designs in the United States.

U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli explained that the IVLP project seeks to promote economic growth and trade in the fashion industry by empowering local fashion designers to not only thrive in Nigeria’s fashion industry, but also to prepare for the global fashion marketplace.

“With growing artistic, sports, film, and music ties between Nigeria and the United States, the goal of this IVLP project is to further deepen Nigerian and American ties by adding fashion as another area of growing connectivity between our two countries,” Ibelli noted. “We are excited to provide fashion designers from Nigeria with this unique opportunity to connect with their U.S. counterparts. This is part of our strategic outreach to Nigeria’s creative industry, by strengthening economic ties through culture and fashion.”

The IVLP project will run from August 9 to 28. Over the course of the three-week program, participants will gain valuable insights from engaging with U.S. fashion designers, manufacturers and consumers.  In addition, participants will explore and enrich their knowledge of entrepreneurship, business development and innovation in the U.S. fashion industry.

The goal of the IVLP is to provide firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture, and politics, while cultivating lasting professional relationships. By introducing current and emerging leaders to their professional counterparts in U.S. communities, the IVLP creates opportunities for business, professional, and academic collaboration, and offers direct exposure to American systems and values.

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