The Guaranty Trust Fashion Weekend is a consumer-focused fashion exhibition and capacity-building event that aims to promote enterprise within the fast-growing Nigerian Fashion Industry.
"Through consistency and believing in yourself, there's no limits or boundaries to what you can do." – Destiny Nwadire.
Twenty-two-year-old Destiny Nwadire paused couture and started making personal protective equipment in April.
Currently studying Digital Marketing at the University of Portsmouth, Destiny carved a place for herself at the age young of 16. In 2015 she created DNA by Iconic Invanity; a diffusion line from her mother's parent company; Iconic Insanity.
Built as a luxury women's wear brand with all resources ethically and locally sourced in Nigeria, it was an unexpected change in paths creating COVID-19 masks. Wanted to make a positive contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, Destiny channelled her creativity into something that was needed by her community. With safety in mind, she began working on creating protective masks, "I didn't want to feel helpless anymore, so I decided to use my skills and production team to do something to give people a bit of hope".
Though wading through unfamiliar territory, DNA tried their hands at accessory design.
Perfecting the masks took several test runs for shape, fit, breathability and safety. Finally, made with four layers of fabric and two filters, the masks were ready, safe and chic.
The DNA masks are completely customizable and come in over 20 bright colours that are symbolic with the brand. Similar to the dresses, the masks are also made to order. The masks can also be beaded and adorned on request. All masks designed by DNA are washable and reusable.
Back in May, DNA collaborated with fashion influencers to help create publicity for the masks. During that time, social events had dwindled, and dressing up wasn't a daily routine for most as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, Destiny devised a way to creatively market the masks and also provide opportunities for influencers in a time when work was stagnant for them.
Chioma Ikokwu A.K.A Chioma Goodhair creatively leveraged the #ICouldBeEveryColour social media challenge by styling 7 DNA masks and matching them with corresponding outfits. The video went viral; DNA’s social platforms experienced growth in customers and sales.
Destiny described her reaction as Gobsmacked when she found her brand listed on Beyoncé's Directory of black-owned business curated by Zerina Akers. The recognition was a professional accomplishment for Destiny "I was screaming, I was in shock when I found out that DNA had been listed on Beyonce's directory of Black-owned businesses. I triple checked to make sure it wasn't a glitch. it was amazing to see all the work that I've put get noticed."
The international recognition has been accompanied by exponential growth and engagement on social media, which translated to increased demand for DNA masks.
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