An important and indispensable feature of enjoying fashion is being a part of a community. Street Souk is an annual streetwear fair that celebrates Nigerian streetwear brands and designers. It was founded by Iretidayo Zaccheaus as a means to amplify the customer reach of indegenous streetwear brands, and to celebrate the local streetwear culture. Zaccheaus is passionate about creating a cultural space for streetwear where everyone is able to express themselves freely. The Nigerian Streetwear space, which used to be a coalition of small time designers trying to carve out a niche for themselves, has now developed into a large and thriving community with Nigerian brands such as Vivendii and Waffles n’ Cream finding footholds in mainstream fashion.
This year, even amid a global pandemic, it is important to continue to nurture and maintain a sense of community. RadrAfrica sat down with Iretidayo to talk about the upcoming third edition of Street Souk, and to gain a little insight into the brains behind Nigeria’s biggest Streetwear Convention.
1. Why a festival about streetwear?
Streetwear is everything to me and so many other people, it gives people like me an opportunity to express ourselves and our creativity through our clothes and shoes. I knew there were so many streetwear brands in Nigeria as I had multiple friends with brands and had heard about a few others. I decided to take it upon myself to bring all these brands together to celebrate the streetwear culture, youthfulness, creativity and the shared brilliance of the nigerian youth. The streetwear community worldwide is so huge and I thought it was only right to create a community where everyone feels welcome and free to showcase their creativity.
I was blessed enough to be put in positions where I was able to witness firsthand the growth of the streetwear community in lagos, from there just being a few brands like the OG’s waffles n cream, vivendii and severe nature to a time where new streetwear brands are constantly popping up daily
Street Souk is all about freedom of expression, fostering community and forming bonds with likeminded people.
2. Who is Street Souk for?
Street Souk is for anybody who is interested in streetwear and/or cares about the culture. Street Souk is as inclusive as it gets, as long as you’re here to celebrate the greatness of the new generation, street souk is for you.
3. What has organizing past street souks been like and what to expect from this year?
Organising the past street souks have been very fun but also very stressful. The past street souks were definitely easier to plan as I didn’t have to factor in a global pandemic. This year promises to be a lot more controlled than the other years in terms of capacity, and quality control of the brands.
4. Who are your favorite local streetwear brands?
Motherlan, Ashluxe,Creer Magnus
5. Do you think covid 19 has affected the popularity of streetwear with a staple like facemasks becoming mainstream?
Not at all, the Asian streetwear market incorporated face masks into their style many years ago, with brands like BAPE and OFF WHITE making masks. If anything, masks have just given designers a new avenue to unleash their creativity and continue to break boundaries.
6. What do you do outside of street souk, when you’re not busy organizing?
I am a masters student at The Business School London (formerly CASS Business school) studying marketing strategy and innovation. I am also a sneaker collector. In my free time I enjoy watching NBA basketball and rinsing netflix. I connect people together and bring joy to the people around me ::))