How Nigerian Brands Are Breaking Into the International Market

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L Ituen Bassey, R Jeremy Scott for Moschino

Internationally, Africa has been a source of inspiration to a number of global brands, from Jeremy Scott’s 2015 Pre-Fall collection for Moschino modeled after Ituen Basi’s Tape inspired collection. The world is finally paying attention to African Fashion beyond the “tribal aesthetic”.

Following the just concluded Lagos Fashion and Design week, which attracted design brands from around the continent, with prominence from Nigerian Brands, the presence of international journalists clarifies that Nigerian Fashion is ready for a global takeover. Despite the lack of proper infrastructure or fashion business support, individual brands are strengthening their value proposition through quality service and international media crossover, with brands like Deola Sagoe and Jewel By Lisa unveiling collections at international fashion week; like New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and stocking at high-end stores in Europe.

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Jewel by Lisa Spring/Summer 2014

The Nigerian fashion aesthetic is becoming globally consumable.

For most fashion brands in Nigeria whose market is sometimes limited to Lagos and Abuja due to the vibrant social scene in these cosmopolitan areas, tapping into the international market is becoming easier thanks to the utilization of digital space. By curating exceptional editorials with international aesthetics these Nigerian brands are gaining curated features in highly respected platforms like Vogue online.

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Agbani Darego by Kelechi Amadi Obi

With this editorial access and online shopping as an option, Nigerian fashion is now globally consumable.

Investors realizing the profitability in properly funded Nigerian Brands and making funds such as the just announced 1 billion Naira funding from the Nigerian Bank of Industries, accessible to female owned fashion enterprises is making the international market crossover less like a dream and more like a reality.

Premium Nigerian Brands like Jewel By Lisa, Deola Sagoe, Mai Atafo and a host of others despite no physical stores internationally have patrons from around the world. This is a possibility due to the maximization of digital space, quality control and brand aesthetic with global appeal.