African design influences have shaped international fashion periodically over the past 30 years, but Nigerian designer Fati Asibelua’s aim is to put African fashion on the map in a more permanent way – by creating an international label that has a distinctive African signature while appealing to a much broader market. Fati Asibelua studied at Istituto Marangoni in Milan obtaining a Masters in Fashion Styling and completed further study at City University London. A much traveled and celebrated personality on the Nigerian social circuit, Fati is a well established designer in Nigeria’s fashion industry. Fati Asibelua has showcased her designs in African designer collective shows in New York and Paris and has been described as “one of Africa’s most talked-about design talents” by vogue.com. Following her training and a personal interest in textiles and printed design, Fati Asibelua began amassing what became a vast collection of European fabrics until the Nigerian Government banned the import of European fabrics. Fati began to see a market and a way to utilize her unique ‘stores’ of fabrics and textiles that were now in hot demand from her African friends. Fati founded the label MOMO by making made to measure African inspired designs with European fabrics. Based in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, MOMO, which marked its 10th anniversary in 2010, is one of Africa’s most highly rated fashion labels. Her new label, ASIBELUA, is targeted at the international fashion market. Fati Asibelua’s signature design aesthetic mixes traditional African patterns with modern shapes, creating a fusion of African culture with contemporary style. Her international background, combined with the influence of her African homeland culture, gives Fati Asibelua a fresh global view of fashion. ASIBELUA takes the kaleidoscope of African culture and crafts and combines with the European refined workmanship and manufacturing heritage resulting in lively yet sophisticated collections.’I have passion for my African roots that is only matched by my passion for luxury fabrics. In putting together my collections, I try to combine these twin passions, interpreting elements of African art with couture fabrics and silhouettes’ says Fati Asibelua.