No fashion entrepreneur can truly be successful without some external help. This external help can come in many different forms – social media platforms, fashion events and shows, e-commerce retail platforms and so on.
Here are 5 e-commerce retailers and institutions seeking to help African fashion entrepreneurs grow their business and take their brands global.
E-Commerce Retail Platforms
In the age we live in, online retailing is non-negotiable. As a fashion entrepreneur, failing to take advantage of the numerous online retailing platforms technology has provided for you will do more harm than good to your fashion brand.
In Africa, various e-commerce retail platforms exist that seek to take African fashion beyond the borders of Africa to the global stage. Here they are;
1. Industrie Africa.
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Exclusive to #IndustrieAfrica, the Fit and Flare Corset Dress from Ghanaian label @christiebrowngh is one of our absolute favorites; it’s feminine tailoring, hand embroidery, and fusion of colors indicative of the diverse inspirations behind it. And, good news: it’s back in stock! We love how our beautiful customer, @stylepantry, is wearing hers. Styled with a silver statement earring, classic stiletto court heel and a crown of curls, the @shopfksp founder shows off a look that is effortlessly polished. Swipe through to shop the limited edition statement piece—before it’s gone.
A post shared by Industrie Africa (@industrieafrica) on Aug 28, 2020 at 11:00am PDT
Founded in 2018 by Nisha Kanabar, Industrie Africa was initially launched as a portal for discovering Africa’s exceptional designer talent. Over the years, it has evolved to be an innovative e-commerce destination that elevates the best African fashion, content, and community.
Using this platform, African fashion brands can sell everything from ready-to-wear fashion to accessories and jewellery directly to customers everywhere. Not only does the brand promote the work of African artisans in the textile industry, but they also host up-and-coming as well as established brands.
Based in Ivory Coast and launched in 2016 by Moulaye Taboure, Afrikea is a platform where fashion designers can sell Made of Africa fashion to customers all over the world. The brand partners with DHL, a company invested in tapping into Africa’s growing e-commerce, to ship fashion items to customers globally.
Designers on Afrikea can create storefronts and receive payments from customers anywhere in the world without hassles. All the clothing and accessories sold on Afrikea are made wither with African local fabrics, such as Ankara, or using African traditional methods to promote the African culture.
3. The Folklore.
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Earlier this year, we brought a taste of Lagos to one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches to tell a story about #sustainablefashion and the designers helping to preserve Africa’s natural resources. Look out for the full editorial dropping on our website tomorrow. #OurFolklore #sustainability Creative Producer: @ravencherisse Photographer: @imraanchristian Stylist: @zizi_ntobongwana MUA: @justine_nomz Models: Samuel Edem (@fusion_models) Faith Johnson (@bossmodelsa)
A post shared by The Folklore (@thefolklore) on Sep 2, 2020 at 10:47am PDT
The Folklore is an online retail store based in New York City and founded by Amira Rasool. The brand stocks high-end and emerging designer brands from Africa and the diaspora serving as a central hub for contemporary brands and creators to showcase their stories.
The brand helps reflect the diversity in Africa’s design aesthetic and delivers fashion items such as clothes, jewellery, shoes, and bags to customers worldwide. The brand encourages designers to produce boundary-pushing designs to reflect who they are.
The Folklore also provides wholesale services to African designer brands interested in penetrating the global retail market. In addition to that, the team coaches designers on how to price for a global market, product shooting, negotiating shipping rates with third-party agencies, and so on.
1. Impact Fund For African Creatives (IFFAC).
The Impact Fund For African Creatives (IFFAC) is a fashion fund initiative that was launched in Luxemburg by African Fashion Fund (AFF) in collaboration with Ethical fashion Initiative in Paris, France.
The fund which is worth €100 million aims to address the “lack of capital and management skills required to leverage the power of African creatives and cultural industries”. The fund aims to invest in private small and medium-sized enterprises that specialise in the creative, fashion, and lifestyle industries in Africa.
IFFAC hopes to expand the social capital of African countries thereby contributing to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and promoting inclusive growth in African economies.
2. The Assembly Hub
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The Assembly, founded by Yoanna Pepper Chikezie, is a platform for emerging talent, entrepreneurs, professionals, and creatives in the fashion industry.
The brand seeks to form a community of young creatives in the fashion industry to help them achieve their ambitions, whilst matching local talent for global success. By way of doing this, they provide physical and virtual fashion business and educational support, access to mentoring, funding, and operational support to emerging talent and startups.
The Assembly collaborates with brands with similar goals and visions like Lagos Fashion Week, British Council, Dalberg, AWCA and many others to a hoe their goal. Some initiatives hosted by the assembly includes Level Up, Creators Lounge and The Creative Enterprise Class, they also run a mentorship scheme where selected applicants are matched with Top fashion entrepreneurs.