Since 2012 the Nigerian-born Canadian transplant Esé Azénabor has garnered a bridal clientele that has traveled all over the map for an appointment at her Dallas, TX atelier for the opportunity to be dressed in the designer’s wedding gowns, which some could only describe as a fantasy brought to life. This past week another dream came true for the self-taught designer and founder/Creative Director; she made history as the first Nigerian-owned womenswear store on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York. The atelier opened in full bloom at 1269 Madison Ave, NewYork, NY, with a grand evening reception and the following evening a private dinner.
Black excellence personified is an understatement.
The level of art meets craftsmanship in the designs that the atelier conceptualizes for their clients is comparable to the level of detail associated with French and Italian couturiers. And the interior reflects that same essence; floral-covered walls, golden racks, golden trimmed mirrors, and marble floors — all a decadent framing for the exquisite bridal gowns displayed across the showroom.
The two-night grand opening began with a private cocktail viewing of the atelier showroom, with the dresses on full display (also worn by Esé and the design staff). The Following evening of celebration was a family affair with Esé’s mother, husband, and close friends in attendance for a three-course dinner with a surprise fashion show featuring her signature couture evening wear and bridal gowns. In a rose gold cotton candy and glitter toast courtesy of her friend Yasmeen Tadia’s Sugaire Cotton Candy, Esé declared that she and her business are here to stay. With a 42nd Street Times Square billboard, the Upper East side, Black-owned atelier has a bright future ahead, and I, for one, am so excited to see her work as it reaches new heights here in New York and the world over.