TOLA, TAYO AND TUNDE ALAKIJA ARE IN THE FASHION BUSINESS TOGETHER, CATERING TO NIGERIA’S SWISH SET.

They were three bodies with one mind. The result – a common passion for fashion, and a business named Talakija.

The three had flirted with the idea of doing something in the clothing business when they were younger but as Tola puts it, “we knew we would never go into fashion as a profession, especially coming from an African background – that is something that just does not go down well.” For their parents, as with most African parents, the only respectable career paths for their daughters were law, medicine or banking.

The demand for African-inspired clothing has created a huge market for some of the continent’s designers and brands. The patronage of African prints by international personalities like Michelle Obama, Thandie Newton and Beyoncé has led to an increase in its popularity with designers vying for a piece of the exploding market. Talakija is looking to cash in on this trend. Launched in August 2017 as an online store, the triplets have managed to create a buzz, both in Nigeria and London, where their ready-to-wear blazers and suits intricately detailed with African print are selling at $95 to $120 a piece.

Each of the three Talakija entrepreneurs plays a different role in the business. Tayo is the creative one in the group, usually with the final say when it comes to sketching and the look of the pieces. Tola handles finance and Tunde manages PR and social media. Together they made their dream become reality.

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