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Mai Atafo is a Nigerian fashion designer and tailor who has made a name for himself in the Nigerian fashion industry. He is known for his unique fashion style and designs, which are a blend of modern and traditional Nigerian styles.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Mai Atafo’s story, his fashion style, and some of his notable designs.

Mai Atafo was born in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, in 1979. He studied Agricultural Economics and Extension Services at the University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria. After completing his studies, he worked briefly in the Nigerian agricultural sector before deciding to pursue his passion for fashion design.

In 2002, Mai Atafo started his fashion career by enrolling in a tailoring school in Lagos, Nigeria. He then went on to work as an apprentice with several renowned tailors in Nigeria, including Kofi Ansah, a Ghanaian fashion designer who was based in Nigeria at the time.

Mai Atafo

In 2010, Mai Atafo launched his eponymous fashion label, Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI), which quickly gained popularity in Nigeria and beyond. His brand is known for its unique blend of traditional and modern styles, which he achieves by infusing traditional Nigerian fabrics and techniques into contemporary designs.

Mai Atafo’s designs are characterized by their attention to detail, exquisite tailoring, and use of high-quality materials. He is known for his ability to create outfits that flatter the female form, and his designs are often worn by Nigerian celebrities and socialites to red carpet events and weddings.

Some of Mai Atafo’s notable designs include the “Wedding Party” dress, which was worn by Adesua Etomi in the popular Nigerian movie “The Wedding Party.” The dress, which was a floor-length, off-shoulder gown with a thigh-high slit, was widely praised for its elegance and sophistication.

Another notable design by Mai Atafo is the “Agbada Challenge” outfit, which was worn by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, a Nigerian media personality, to the 2017 edition of the Big Brother Naija reality show. The outfit, which consisted of a modern take on the traditional Nigerian agbada, was widely praised for its innovative design and attention to detail.

Mai Atafo’s fashion style and designs have earned him several awards and accolades, both in Nigeria and internationally. In 2011, he won the Nigerian Fashion Designer of the Year award at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos. He has also been featured in several international publications, including Vogue Italia, CNN Africa, and Forbes Africa.

Apart from designing and tailoring clothes, Mai Atafo is also involved in mentoring young fashion designers in Nigeria. He is a regular speaker at fashion events and has been a judge on several fashion reality shows, including the “MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week” and “Nigeria’s Next Top Designer.”

In addition to his fashion label, Mai Atafo has also launched other businesses, including a bridal store, Mai Bridals, which provides bespoke bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and wedding accessories.

Mai Atafo’s influence on the Nigerian fashion industry cannot be overstated. He has helped to redefine Nigerian fashion by fusing traditional Nigerian styles with contemporary designs. His unique fashion style and designs have inspired and influenced many young fashion designers in Nigeria and beyond.

By Elijah Christopher

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