Mrs. Thomas-Fahm kick-started the Nigerian fashion industry, using traditional African fabrics and inventing many styles. Her design outfit and store, Shade’s Boutique, was the go to place for men and women of Lagos style. Examples of her creations include the boubou which she adapted from the men’s Agbada, the hassle-free pre-fitted gele. Her twist on the iro and buba led to the zipped wrapper skirt. Her line of fashion forward ankara jump suits, aso oke dresses, beaded shoes and embroidered culottes proved she was leaps ahead of her time when she stepped onto the scene in the early 60s.
Mrs. Shade Thomas-Fahm didn’t just stop at designing clothes; she drafted, cut, sewed, modelled, produced fashion shows and sold…which lead to her owning the first boutique in Nigeria.