Shade Thomas is reputed to have kick-started the Nigerian fashion industry, using traditional African fabrics and inventing many styles. Her design store, Shade’s Boutique, was the go to place for men and women of Lagos style. Examples of her creations include the boubou which she adapted from the men’s Agbada, the hassle-free pre-fitted gele. Her twist on the iro and buba led to the zipped wrapper skirt. Her line of fashion forward ankara jump suits, aso oke dresses, beaded shoes and embroidered culottes proved she was leaps ahead of her time when she stepped onto the scene in the early 60s.