ATAFO, formerly known as Mai Atafo, is a multidisciplinary fashion brand which creates menswear, womenswear and bridal collections. With Mai Atafo as Chief Creative Officer, ATAFO has become one of Africa’s foremost fashion labels, consistently delivering high-quality, luxury pieces with emphasis on unrivalled craftsmanship and tailoring.
ATAFO creates exquisite bespoke tailored garments as well as unique, elegant wedding gowns and recently uber-fashionable ready-to-wear pieces. Drawing inspiration from the essence of each client’s individuality, ATAFO is known to craft one-of-a-kind ensembles that become an extension of the wearer.
Over the years, the fashion house has succeeded in cultivating a wide and discerning national and international clientele, based craftsmanship, tailoring, innovation and the quality of clothing produced not to forget its reputation to always deliver.
The label is known for its clean cuts and impeccable fit whilst paying painstaking attention to the little details and ensuring that every single element of each piece is created with love and care. Having unveiled collections at various fashion weeks around the world including the J Spring Fashion Show Paris, Glitz African Fashion Week Accra, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, Arise Fashion Week and Lagos Fashion Week both in Lagos. ATAFO has become an internationally recognised fashion force and Mai Atafo, a globally critically acclaimed designer.
Having conquered the world of men and womenswear, in 2011, ATAFO added to his arsenal by launching a bridal line, which is an expansion on the brand’s desire to be an integral part of life’s big moments. Since then, ATAFO has been a part of several special days and created fairy-tale gowns for many a bride.
Constantly raising the bar with each collection, Mai Atafo is dedicated to elevating the Nigerian fashion industry through their vision of producing timeless, transcendent, luxury clothing out of their exclusive Atelier that can be found in Lekki, Lagos.
The recent SS20 collection and name change announcement to ‘ATAFO’ at the 2019 Lagos fashion week will see the brand grow from a bridal couturier, bespoke menswear and womenswear brand to include limited releases of pieces off its runway collection available as ready to wear. This direction is an intentional step by the brand to meet its increasing demand for access to ATAFO pieces.
Mai Atafo is a fashion designer and bespoke tailor. The charismatic businessman is the founder and creative director of fashion brand, ATAFO, who specialise in bespoke menswear, womenswear alongside bridal and evening couture. The dynamic brand is also known for their stylish approach to traditional Nigerian wear, testament to Mai’s deep connection to his heritage and his own roots.
Mai Atafo, a fashion icon in his own right, known for his quintessential style, is the epitome of the perfect gentleman both in his dressing and his bearing. A multi-hyphenate, Mai Atafo’s skills go far beyond design and he has has experienced an illustrious career before launching his label. He worked in Market Research, Sales and distribution, Innovation, Projects and Brand management with British American Tobacco and Diageo where he left his role as Senior Brand Management to pursue his love for fashion.
After exiting paid employment Mai Atafo worked as the Head of Spice TV (Africa’s leading fashion channel) for 6 months, Strategy director for advertising agency The Fire House for a year, Fashion Editor Genevieve Magazine for 2 years and Chairman of the Central Working Committee of The Future Award Africa for 6 years before taking up the role leadership role in the Advisory Council.
Choosing ultimately, to pursue his love for fashion full-time and never one to do things by halves, Mai went on to gain formal training at the prestigious Instituto di Moda Burgo in Milan, Italy. Once he set up his atelier, determined to give his staff elite training, Mai brought in a master tailor from the then Saville Row Training Academy to upskill both himself and his workforce in the fine art of garment-making.
Mai is a firm believer in empowering the next generation of creatives and pays it forward where possible. He created a free fashion mentorship initiative called Fashion Conversations which gives young designers the knowledge of the fashion industry and the tools to start their own businesses. A huge supporter of the African fashion movement and empowering young African creatives, fashion designers and artisans, Mai is passionate about harnessing fashion as a vehicle for development by connecting people at every step of the fashion value chain.
Being a man who wears many hats, Mai Atafo finds time in his hectic schedule to indulge in work as a MC/Compere and voiceover artiste having done shows like 2010 Miss Nigeria Pageant alongside Agbani Darego, City People Fashion and Style Award, Face of Sleek Model Competition, Etisalat Masterbrand Re-launch, FCMB Employees Award Night , voiced a Glo advert, voice-over for Soundcity Video Music Awards live-show and most recently host the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards in Uganda and Glitz Style Awards in Accra in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
The brands he has worked with, either in the capacity of a spokesperson, Judge or influencer include Samsung, Intel, HP, Google, Etisalat, Baileys, Chivas, Moet, Amstel Malta, Fayrouz, Heineken, Lux, Ebonylife, Vlisco, Nivea, SA Tourism to mention a few.
His high point till date is his finale walk with Naomi Campbell at Arise Fashion Week 2019 and speaking at Harvard Business School during the African Business Conference in 2019 and 2020.
Mai Atafo is married to Ede-Christine and blessed with a daughter, Aima.
AWARDS FOR BRAND AND DESIGNER
2009: Hottest New Male Designer – City people Fashion and Style
2010: Special Recognition – City people Fashion and Style
2010: Fashion Designer of the Year – Mode Men Magazine
2010: Best Dressed Man – Mode Men Magazine
2010: Fashion Brand of the Year – FAB Magazine
2010: The Redefinition Contribution to Fashion – Covenant University
2011: Top 10 Best Dressed Man – Mode Men Magazine
2011: Most Stylish Man – Vanguard Allure Magazine
2011: Top Best Dressed Men for the year – Thisday Style
2012: Designer of the Year – Glitz African Fashion Week Ghana
2012: Fashion Brand of the Year – FAB Magazine
2013: Bridal Fashion Designer of the Year – WED Magazine
2013: Nigerian Designer of the Year – Sideview Magazine
2013: Named one of the 50 best dressed under 40 – Thisday Style
2013: Named most stylish man of the year – Vanguard Allure
2013: Menswear Designer of the Year – City People Fashion and Beauty
2013: Bridal Designer of the Year – City People Fashion and Beauty
2014: Man of the Year – EbonylifeTV Sisterhood Awards
2015: Menswear Designer of the year – Lagos Fashion and Design Week
2016: Fashion Designer of the Year West Africa – Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards Uganda
2017: African Designer of the Year – Glitz Style Awards Ghana
2017: Fashion Brand CEO of the Year – La Mode Magazine Ever Green Event Awards
2017: Man of The Year – (The Man Award) Men’s Fashion Week Nigeria
2017: Lifetime Style & Fashion Icon Achievement – Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards Uganda
2018: Person of The Year (FASHION) – Glazia Magazine
2018: Menswear Fashion Brand of The Year – Fashion’s Finest Africa Awards Lagos
2019: Outstanding Contribution to Nigerian Fashion – Fashion’s Finest Africa Awards Lagos