CEO of Mai Atafo
Mai Atafo (known also as Ohima Atafo) was born in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, on November 15th, 1977. He is a Nigerian bespoke fashion tailor.
Early Life and Education
Atafo was born to a family of nine children in Ile-Ife, Osun State. Though a native of Edo State, Mai spent much of his youth in Benin City, Lagos, and London. He studied at the University Staff School in Benin before enrolling at the Federal Government College in Ido-Ani, Ondo State. He graduated with a 2nd Class Upper degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension from Edo State University, Ekpoma, and then went on to City University London, England, to pursue a Postgraduate degree in Information Technology.
Before entering the fashion industry, Atafo worked as a full-fledged marketer in the corporate world. He returned to Nigeria after almost seven years in the UK to work for British American Tobacco before joining Guinness Nigeria Plc in 2007. He took a career leave from his work as Senior Brand Manager at Guinness in 2010, almost four years later, to become a full-time Fashion Designer.
Mai developed and ran his apparel company Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI) while working a full-time job between 2007 and 2010. With designs that are adaptable, ageless, and especially classicist, but also contemporary, clean-cut, and urban, Mai Atafo quickly established herself in the fashion industry.
In the Maiden Edition of the TV Dance reality show “Celebrity Takes Two,” he dressed the likes of Omowunmi Akinnifesi (MBGN 2005), Pasuma Wonder, and Wale Rubber. Since then, he’s dressed Stella Damasus and Yemi Blaq for the second season of “Celebrity Takes Two,” as well as high-profile clients like Raz Adoti, Ashionye, and Kemi Adetiba for other important TV shows and events including The Future Awards, Hip Hop World Awards, and Soundcity Music Video Awards. Actors Dakore Egbuson, Stephanie Okereke, Stella Damascus, Mercy Johnson, Gbenro Ajibade, Ramsey Nouah, Ex-Beauty Queens Omowunmi Akinnifesi, Munachi Abii, and Adaeze Igwe, as well as musicians, have all been photographed wearing MAI designs on the red carpet or for photo sessions.
Despite his long list of celebrity clients, Mai Atafo describes the MAI brand as focusing on providing the greatest level of service to all of his clients, regardless of their position. MAI’s style is readily recognizable in his attire, with his signature piece-de-resistance being his crested blazers, which have become a power dressing essential. With the formal introduction of “Weddings By MAI” in 2011, a wedding line brand was born that caters to every apparel element of a wedding, including the bridal gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, tiny brides’ dresses, groom and groomsmen’s suit, cravat, and waistcoat.
After choreographing selfies with the models on the runway for 2014, he generated a social media craze. In 2016, he enlisted the help of Tania Omotayo and other stunning women to showcase his wedding gowns, which were accompanied by a soulful orchestra. On his birthday, November 15th, 2017, Mai Atafo launched the #FollowMaiHeart campaign with Mot & Chandon. For his collection during Heineken Lagos Fashion Week, he went with a ‘Beauty and the Beast concept. He brought splendor and surprise to Day 3 of the event by demonstrating both fashion courage and entertainment. On March 31st, Mai presented his varied, classic, and contemporary creations at the fifth edition of ARISE Fashion Week 2018 at the Lagos Intercontinental Hotel, dressed dapperly as always.
Mai Atafo’s success has been recognized with a number of awards and nominations, some of which include; 2009 City People Fashion and Style, Hottest New Male Designer, 2010 City People Fashion and Style, Special Recognition.
He was 2010 Mode Men Fashion Designer of the Year, 2010 Mode Men, Best Dressed Man of the Year, 2010 FAB Magazine, Fashion Brand of the Year, 2010 Covenant University “Redefining Fashion Contribution”, 2011 Allure, Most Stylish Man of the Year, 2011 Thisday Style, Best Dressed Man, 2013 GLITZ, Designer of the year, 2015 Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Menswear Designer of the Year.
His net worth is not available.