Emmy Kasbit, a modern clothing line founded with a desire for dressing unique men and women with keen sartorial sensibilities, is led by creative director Emmanuel Okoro. The gifted designer is committed to providing menswear—and occasionally womenswear—with a well-earned makeover with an unexpected traditional touch.
He took home the Fashion Focus Fund prize for the Lagos Fashion Week Led Accelerator Program in 2018. Theresa May, a former British prime minister, proudly donned an Akwete print jacket from the fashion firm during her visit to Nigeria. He has won the hearts of many with his hard work and vivid designs.
The two inspirations behind Emmanuel Okoro's ready-to-wear line Emmy Kasbit are storytelling and Akwete textiles, the handwoven fabric from his native of Abia State in Eastern Nigeria known for its distinctive patterns and motifs steeped in Igbo rituals. The fashion designer, who has his base in Lagos, first pursued a career in computer science in Calabar, Nigeria. He began manufacturing garments for peers out of a necessity to supplement his income during his time in college. This side endeavor helped him gain notoriety in the little community in the southeast. The money was also nice, so Okoro decided to turn his side business in tailoring into a full-time career.
Six years have passed since he first established his brand, and in 2018, despite having no official training in the industry, he was chosen as the Fashion Focus Fund winner by Lagos Fashion Week, a program that seeks out emerging talent and awards grants and yearlong business mentoring. This chance helped his fledgling label grow to the next level. He is known for his expertise in creating distinctive Akwete fabrics. Up until that point, Okoro had developed his abilities working for production and fashion firms, where he had discovered the fundamentals of creating and cutting patterns. When questioned about his brand's hallmark, he takes a brief minute to reflect. He proudly states, "[The brand is] bold and confident." Menswear serves as an inspiration for womenswear.
I’m telling an African story with every collection. I can’t tell [an African] story with a Western fabric. [By making my textiles] I can create and customize my motifs based on the inspiration of the season.