"Wear Nigerian" Campaign

INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED NIGERIAN WRITER, CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE, HAS LAUNCHED A CAMPAIGN WHERE SHE WOULD ONLY WEAR NIGERIAN FASHION BRANDS

I’ve changed quite a few dodgy zippers, been disappointed by some poor quality fabrics, and been impressed by some detail-oriented finishing.

If this does not tell you that whatever power you attain in life and pedestal you eventually get to, you have to give back and help bring light to where you started, you have your life goals all wrong. This campaign has been launched fully and is solely aimed at supporting indigenous designers, because buying a fenty boot ( I love you Rihanna) is not going to help the fashion industry and then the Nigerian economy as a whole grow. The campaign visuals can be viewed via an Instagram page created by her nieces Amaka and Chisom. 

In the past few weeks, I’ve bought more Nigerian brands than I ever have in the past... I’ve been filled with admiration for the women and men running their businesses despite the many challenges they face. I’m particularly interested in ‘inward-looking’ brands, those for whom dressing Nigerian women is as important as other goals.

Starting from twitter, a movement "#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira" was born to help recover the economy from the aggressive hands of recession, and in other news the campaign was birthed to strike an inherent behaviour of supporting locally made goods and services and hopefully patriotism. 

Overall, I love the clothes, their cut, their whimsy, their color, their flair, their ability to make me feel like myself. Their makers, from designer to tailor to button-fixer to okada-delivery-person, deserve to be supported.

Africa's First Smart Shoe Line

FROM THE MAKERS OF URBAN SNEAKER BRAND, KEEXS, COMES A SMART SHOE WITH BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY

Quite similar to the limited edition of Pizza hut's shoes that help you place your order for pizza by yanking on the "tongue" of the shoe, further employing Bluetooth connectivity and geolocation to deliver the pizza. With technology permeating deep into our everyday lives, Babajide Ipaye, Owner of Keexs, has a plan to assemble the first smart shoe in Africa with a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone and mobile devices – which has the ability to help visually impaired users and athletes.

About Keexs, it is the first Innovative and Social Oriented Footwear Brand in Africa, with a mission to pioneer innovation in footwear, bring exciting designs to life and empower communities through social oriented projects. With a fist bump logo and brand colours as red and black, they say this is why you should get a pair of keexs: 

1. Our designs will make you cool and stand out from the crowd.
2. You are contributing towards poverty alleviation.
3. Each product has a story that will inspire you.

We the citizens need to take more individual and collective initiatives towards correcting some of our social issues (Economy & society) rather than sitting around complaining and waiting for our leaders to solve everything
— Jide Ipaye, 2015

Great Job Keexs, from launching a kickstarter campaign to get the business of the ground and now creating a much needed synergy between fashion and technology to solve real life societal issues.

The future of Fashion Industry & Commerce

WE HAVE REASONS TO BELIEVE THAT FASHION FAIRS ARE THE FUTURE OF THAT INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE

Fashion fairs is the new face of the fashion industry and simultaneously commerce. I am not one to care or get excited about shopping, if it is not online or thrifting. While I am not also a social human being, the combination of shopping and social networking sounds like a perfect synergy especially in today's world where technology and social media have replaced people. You know so get out there, meet real life people and fill up your wardrobe with goodies, works right?

By fashion fairs I mean pop-up sales, yard sales, and any events generally organized with a side aim of social resource which in this case is people. I'm not a shop owner or a designer, but i know that on the average, a higher amount of sales would be recorded at a sale than who knows maybe even a week at the shop. A good example of such a fair is The Lagos International Trade Fair (The crowd is enormous, I got lost there as a kid and had to sing my way back to my mom), it is an annual 10-day event which starts from the first Friday in November since 1981; organized by The Lagos Chamber and Commerce Industry, having fashion, clothing& textile as one of their categories, this is a great avenue to explore sales and harness key networking opportunities. 

Irrespective of how far up the success ladder a business has climbed, marketing is still core for business continuity and growth to stay relevant and break even; this and many more are the many opportunities that fashion trade shows offer. On a platter, what these shows offer are visibility in a nutshell; certainly helps boost sales, connect with other directly or indirectly related brands in the industry. 

A tradeshow environment allows retailers to see product in person, establish what’s trending in their marketplace, and get comprehensive product information in one contained location. It is also a unique opportunity for them to build relationships with their vendors.
— Camille Candella. Vice President of Marketing for Emerald Expositions

We have a list of popular fashion fairs for you guys to keep up with below:

- Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW) || Lagosfashionanddesignweek.com

Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW) is a multiday fashion event platform that aims to drive the Nigerian and ultimately, the African fashion industry; by bringing together buyers, consumers and the media to view the current collections of African designers in the fashion capital of Lagos, Nigeria. Beyond the runway, the annual event provides a physical platform that’s gradually repositioning fashion as a useful tool for commerce and creativity in Nigeria.

Features:

// LFDW Runway Shows and Presentations featuring new season collections from designers in the African fashion industry
// LFDW Showrooms featuring fashion products, textiles and accessories
// Fashion Focus supported by LFDW Fashion Hub – workshops and master classes that facilitate knowledge transfer, information exchange and networking opportunities across board
// Fashion Business Series to facilitate conversations with key players from the Nigerian and Pan African fashion industry as a useful tool for exchanging ideas, networking and developing the fashion industry.

- Mente De Moda || Mentedemoda.com

"Mente de Moda is a youth empowerment initiative that focuses on giving the small or medium scale business owner that much needed edge in a harsh economic climate, SME’s with interests in fashion, art, food, lifestyle & or gift items."

First organized in 2011 only twice and returned in 2013 to become a bi-monthly event. In 2015 it became a monthly event
This way increasing the chances of the Entrepreneurial Nigerian Youth to showcase their work/trade and network with other like minded individuals. 

- GTBANK FSHN WKN || fshwknd,gtbank.com

The GTBank Fashion Weekend is a consumer focused fashion exhibition and capacity building

 

 

The GTBank Fashion Weekend is a consumer focused fashion exhibition and capacity building event that aims to promote enterprise within the fast growing Nigerian Fashion Industry.

The Return of A Fully Clothed Woman

WOMEN FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES ARE EMBRACING MODEST DRESSING. COULD THIS BE A GLOBAL MOVEMENT ON THE RISE?

There's a new wave of feminism which proves to show that an empowered woman is no longer subject to specific definitions nor must she live by a specific set of preset values. These days, avenues are popping up which allow women to create and express their own definition. Fashion is one of them.

This trend dubbed 'The Modest Movement' is now gaining steam and different fashion brands are keying into this rising market segment by launching bespoke modest fashion collection. They are forced to think strategically about how to appeal to observant women with numerous religious and cultural backgrounds or women who want to dress elegant in pieces that are elegant and not too exposing.

There's no doubt that this began from the Arab nations were women wear hijabs and dresses with high necklines and low hemlines and also from Asian countries. This is a growing market and the growing chorus of voices demanding more choices can't be ignored. 

This month, supermodel Gigi Hadid features on the cover of the newly launched Vogue Arabia in a diamond encrusted hijab. This brought mixed reactions.

Of the brands that are providing solution to modestly dressed women, we have Ghizlan Guenez, Founder and CEO, The Modist, a new e-commerce venture that caters to the modest fashion market. 

COURTESY HARPERS BAZAAR ARABIA

COURTESY HARPERS BAZAAR ARABIA

According to Guenez

"Our woman might be a banker who wants a power suit or the piece that will take her from morning to evening, that's elegant and not too exposing. She might also be a mother attending her daughter's wedding, or a university student in Dubai who's trendy, but dressed modestly for cultural reasons. The women I grew up with are modern and fashionable, but happen to dress this way. My mother, my cousins... they'd have to go from one store to another looking for pieces that could work for them. I realised there had to be a solution.It was after witnessing the frustration of women around her first hand that Guenez first conceived The Modist."

The team behind the modist

The team behind the modist

Halima Aden 2nd row, contested for Miss Minessota in her modest dress and hijab. She has now won different modeling contract.

ADELE WEARS MODEST

ADELE WEARS MODEST

Fashion brands in Africa can take advantage of this as this continent is as a huge market. The smart ones can leverage on this trend to export African fashion to developed nations.

Brand Spotlight: Hunter&co

LET'S TAKE A FIRST LOOK AT  HUNTER&CO, A LOAFER LINE AND NIGERIAN BRAND 

LOAFERS BY HUNTER&CO

LOAFERS BY HUNTER&CO

The Hunter & co footwear brand, an offshoot of the Bandit urban clothing company launched in January 2015 with the sole aim of creating a footwear brand that grows out of Nigeria to take over the world while providing value to our target market. The owners of the brand, Hunter & co Loafers, projects momentum in the footwear industry with the intoduction of this product before they release a variety of leather products for both male and female consumers

LOAFERS BY HUNTER&CO

LOAFERS BY HUNTER&CO

Our products are made internationally because we have an eye on the global market, produced with the latest cutting edge technology and best raw materials available
@ thebanditco   and Instagram –@  thebanditco_ng

@thebanditco and Instagram –@ thebanditco_ng

The Loafers which come in four colours (brown, two shades of blue & black) and are available in sizes 42-45, are made of a suede upper, extra thick insoles for comfort and TPR outsoles for durability to make up a long lasting shoe that’s ideal for the Nigerian environment

Read the excerpt of an interview with the Creative Director, Dele Akintola, by Museorigins.net

What is Hunter&co about?

My vision for Hunter&co is simple and concise: to be a shoe brand that can be sold in any shoe store globally. It’s for this very reason that we outsource production to our Italian manufacturers using the very best materials and cutting edge technology in production to ensure comfort and durability. Our message to our target market is that we will be here with you every step of the way literally LOL!

What inspired you to start the Hunter&co loafer line?

What inspired me to start Hunter&Co? Well, I like shoes and I wanted a shoe that was built for Nigeria. But we had to modify our (design) thrice to ensure its durability and comfort. Besides, Hunter&co is not a loafers brand. We started with loafers because we guys can pair loafers with almost everything from trads to shorts and everything in between. We are going to introduce a wide range of products over time. Just know every time you purchase any Hunter&co shoe, you are buying a shoe that was designed for you.

What is your interpretation of the market for indigenous shoe fashion lines in Nigeria?

I believe there’s a market for indigenous shoe brands because so far we have done good, but we can do better. And to be absolutely honest, we do not present and package Hunter&co as an indigenous shoe brand because we have eyes for the international community.

But the buyers that eventually find out Hunter&co is an indigenous brand usually call to commend us because of our international standards. Yes there are competitors, but I personally believe there’s a market for everyone so we have no worries.

Read more here