For every time Toke Makinwa has stepped out since she burst into the limelight a couple years ago, the media girl has made sure she was on point. Outfit, shoes, hair, nails, makeup – every single i is always dotted, and every t crossed. And no matter how you feel about her, you cannot help but stan her consistency and the undeniable effort that goes into every look.
There is an intentionality about her brand that isn’t very common with celebrities in this part of the world. In January 2019, I was swiping through Instagram Stories when I stumbled on a video of Toke and her whole glam squad – makeup artist, stylist, hair stylist, photographer, et al – in a strategy session for her 2019 glam. That is just how serious Toke takes her brand. It’s even more remarkable considering that most of her contemporaries do not even know what it means to have a dedicated glam team.
More than anything, it’s this intentionality that has made her not just the best dressed woman in Nigeria, but easily one of the most bankable ones too. I daresay that even the skin bleaching was also part of the game plan. She knew. She understood very early on that the society she lives in places more value on light skinned women than it did on their darker counterparts. And she also knew that the shock value of the dramatic skin colour change will translate to talkability and invariably, visibility for her brand.
A closet full of the most expensive designer items from all around the world – Hermes, Gucci, Balenciaga, Giuseppe Zanotti, Amina Muaddi – if it’s trending, best believe you will find it in Toke’s closet, in every colour there is. If she wants a dress, for an event, she will go the lengths of the earth to get it. We’ve seen her fly in custom made Gert-Johan Coetzee dresses from South Africa for red carpet appearances.
Miss Makinwa is very invested in her slay. But it’s one thing to spend all that money on designer items and another to actually be able to wear them well, and the latter is something she does very well.
You may not always agree with her style choices, heck I don’t even. You may be one of the people who describe her as “fashionable” as opposed to “stylish”, and you wouldn’t be wrong. You may want to argue that there are better dressed people who aren’t in the spotlight – and again, you wouldn’t be wrong. But, how is one supposed to judge something that one can’t see? It’s like saying that the winner of MBGN isn’t the most beautiful girl in Nigeria. I mean, duh, she’s the one who contested in the pageant.
Toke is the one in our faces. She’s the one who is at every event, on every blog looking a 100 ALL. THE. TIME. From the early days of her career, when people would mock her with the MTN tagline, “everywhere you go”, it was very obvious that she wanted to be seen. And it might not have made sense to a lot of people then, but she knew exactly what she was doing and boy, did it pay off!