Reni Folawiyo is the founder of Alara, a concept store in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos that seeks to redefine luxury fashion for Nigerians.
Folawiyo was Born in London, and raised in Western Nigeria, she initially studied law, returning to Lagos to work for her father’s law firm. Alongside this, she opened an interior design business producing custom furniture.
Reni always envisioned a space where the world would be introduced to an Africa that creates beauty and value, and where world class fashion talents, African design and culture would intertwine.
In 2014, Reni founded West Africa’s first fashion luxury and lifestyle concept store Alara. Meaning “wondrous performer” in Yoruba, Alara is housed in an impressive architecture building designed by world acclaimed Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, whose design for the National Museum of African American History broke ground in 2012. The store is home to both African and Western Luxury brands including Maki Oh and Lisa Folawiyo, Marni and Valentino.
Alara has become a gathering space for events ranging from book signings, fashion events to art exhibitions bringing Lagos’ fashion conscious crowd together in the exclusively curated space. In April 2018, the store hosted supermodel Naomi Campbell’s ‘Art of Beauty’ book signing event.
Alara has been compared to concept stores such as London’s Dover Street Market, Paris’ Colette and Milan’s 10 Corso Como. However the entrepreneur stays true to her purpose, encouraging exceptional quality and beauty that celebrates and elevates all aspects of an African luxury lifestyle, which can not be found anywhere else in the world.