By Merit Ibe
Nigerian creative director and fashion entrepreneur, Mai Atafo, has collaborated with the world’s most prestigious whisky, The Macallan, for his mentorship initiative —Fashion Conversations, held at the Atafo studio in Lekki, Lagos, recently.
The initiative is offering 40 young creatives the opportunity to engage the designer in conversations about commercialisation in Africa’s over $31 billion fashion industry and navigating one of the world’s most promising industries.
In line with The Macallan’s investment in Africa’s fashion industry, the ultra-premium whisky brand sponsored Mai Atafo to facilitate an exchange of critical information that can empower young people to identify their roles in the industry and succeed. The fashion mentorship initiative, geared at inspiring and enabling the next generation of fashion creatives, involved sessions that focused on topics such as the “Guide to Running a Successful Fashion Business in Nigeria”, “Fashion Commercialisation” and “Branding”, among others.
At the event, Mai Atafo passionately addressed the young creative designers about the importance of having a well-thought-out business strategy and how to leverage it in the industry. He provided actionable tips and advised on how to navigate the fashion sector and shared pointers from his over two-decade experience.
The initiative further indicates The Macallan’s interest in Africa’s fashion industry and Atafo’s goal of inspiring creatives within the industry. Founded in 2018, the ‘Fashion Conversations’ has become an immense success.
Mai Atafo said: “This is an opportunity for young creatives and entrepreneurs to gain insight and knowledge about the fashion industry. My goal is to create access for the next generation of masters in fashion to the right resources to make more informed decisions. The Macallan bringing these sessions to life enables us to reach more enterprising young people looking to harness their craft.”
The Macallan’s Brand Manager, Nigeria, Edrington, Hammed Adebiyi, stated, “The Macallan has been the hallmark of quality and distinctive character for nearly 200 years. Our unique taste and style, methods and craftsmanship are some of the particular qualities that have made our whisky remarkable for years. This is also one of the reasons for our collaborations in the fashion industries across the world. It is important for us to invest in ensuring that for years to come, unique craftsmanship remains an important aspect of the industry. And there is no better way to do that than to invest in the future through forward-thinking initiatives such as this.”
This year’s second edition will take place in April at Maitama, Abuja.
In November 2022, The Macallan, known for its commitment to excellence and quality, collaborated with Atafo on his most recent collection — ‘The Atelier‘, after a three-year hiatus off the runway.
Founded in 1824, The Macallan is recognised worldwide for its extraordinary, ultra-prestige single malt whisky. It was one of the first distillers in Scotland to be legally licensed. The brand’s outstanding quality and distinctive character reveal the uncompromised excellence pursued by The Macallan since its establishment by Alexander Reid.
In 2018, The Macallan opened a new chapter in its history with the launch of its award-winning Speyside distillery. The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland — and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship.