Nigerians are no doubt very creative and artistic, with skills that become recognized all over the world. Such is the peculiar case of Nigerian-born fashion designer Duro Olowu, who was enlisted by the First lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, to decorate the White House in preparation for the 2015 Christmas celebrations.
According to Ventures Africa, Olowu, along with other fashion designers such as Caroline Herrera, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim and Kenzo, was brought into the White House’s China Room, Vermeil Room, and library for the holiday season.
According to the report, Olowu decorated the Vermeil room using two 8-foot Christmas trees draped with vintage fabrics, ribbons and encrusted tinsel.
Born to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother, Duro was raised in Lagos, spending his childhood travelling between Nigeria and different cities in Europe. His wife, Thelma Golden, is the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.
His designs have earned him customers such as Michelle Obama, as well as Hollywood stars Uma Thurman, Keira Knightley, and Linda Evangelista.
Olowu is a recipient of many awards. In 2005, his high-waisted Duro dress, hailed by both British and American Vogue, won the coveted Dress of the Year award. In the same year, he won the New Designer of the Year Award at the British Fashion Awards, the only designer to have ever done so without a catwalk show. In 2010, he was named Best International Designer at the African Fashion Awards in South Africa as well as being one of six finalists for the Swiss Textiles Award in Zurich.