It is the weekend and a really great time to do as you please.. Which brings me to a matter I am mildly curious about.. VELVET… A.K.A akwa-oche.Velvet is a very lush fabric with a luxurious feel. In recent times, there has been quite a spike in the velvet trend. In Nigeria , it dominates the traditional weddings/ engagements scene. This is quite ironical, considering how velvet was perceived a couple of years ago. It all started quite cheekily I feel..when the traders dubbed it  Akwa-oche.. which means fabric for furniture..( this is me drawing conclusions..)

It was in the 90’s and there was a velvet boom/rave.. The shops and streets were awash with velvet pieces in different styles and cuts.. and it was referred to as Akwa-oche..most times with a derogatory tone to the voice or even disdain. People swore off velvet..Unofficially, Velvet became persona non grata..

Still velvet is a really pretty fabric.. and sometimes it casts a particular opulent feel no other fabric can convey quite as easily..I am wearing a dark red velvet skirt from Top-shop. It is a very easy cut and fit and quite flattering against the skin. I teamed it with a print (Ankara) top from the 70’s.. Scored it from mother dearest..

I am currently restocking in Zinkata, and have come across some really exquisite velvet dresses… My question is.. “Would you wear a Velvet dress in  Nigeria??? For my readers all over the world, what is your take on the velvet fabric??


Your feedback is supremely welcome..


Ezinne Chinkata


Photography: Kola Oshalusi

Skirt: Top-Shop

Shoes: Office

Bag: Vintage



  1. Akwa..oche…LOL ..OMG!!! I could not stop laughing when I read this article, a trip down memory lane. I would defintely rock the right attire in velvet, no doubt about it. I totally agree with you on the opulence of velvet as a fabric. I love velvet, it feels and looks great.!!!

  2. Zinkata. Great job. Sometimes we have to step outside the bubble and do the needful!!! You bringing back the 90s with this Velvet concept. Need I say more, You nailed it!!

  3. Lol. Akwa Oche! Chai! My mother bought me one of those when I was in school and I bluntly refused to wear it! Because tejuoso boys would have finished me with yab as that was my route home. I have long since repented. Lool. I have rocked it since it’s re-emergence and will still rock it! Oh by the way, you nailed it!!

  4. Ezinne I love this article because I clearly remember the period when velvet was rubbish by jealous people who couldn’t afford it really. I grew up in Enugu and people who didn’t know you on the streets tomented you buy shouting “Onye Akwa Oche” while clapping their hands to a tune (lol at thought). It was most annoying then sha..
    I had this matching trouser and top my friend handed down to me and I wore it still buy matching different tops and bottoms with it. My brother and friends will make fun of me but I cared less as I loved that crop top and pants too much..
    I will rock your outfit any day because it’s a fabulous combo, needless to say velvet has a divine feeling on my skin both the inside and outside that fabric.
    I am an accessories designer and one of my hottest sellers @maknisy is our Red Velet Satchel bag.. We have shipped it to the U.S, U.K, France and Canada. Who would have thought..

    Am glad velvet is back to stay…

    • Hello! Glad you connected with the article.. Really..velvet is awesome.. May I also say, welldone on Maknisy. You are doing an awesome job! Thanks for commenting! Have a great day! xxx

  5. Lol! This is so funny – my mum bought me a lovely velvet skirt from a trip to Beijing. It was quite fashion forward

  6. Chukwuemeka Reply

    I am definitely to get some soon. Thanks for confirming my thought on velvet being our ‘akwa-oche’.

    That means Alice Munro was talking about akwa oche in her short story about ‘The Red Dress’.

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