Fashion is everywhere and every fashion brand brings its unique taste to the table. The problem you set out to solve with your brand determines who your target audience will be and the products your brand will offer. This is why we love the fashion industry, it is diverse in so many ways.
This week, we look at Abaya Lagos, a fashion brand that started as a side hustle but has grown to be a thriving business in Nigeria. Here’s how they were able to achieve that;
About Abaya Lagos
Founded by Salihat Rahaman in 2014, Abaya Lagos is a luxury fashion brand that specialises in the creation of modest fashion for the elegant and classy woman. The brand was established to solve a problem its founder faced – not having anything classy to quickly slip on on a bad hair day. And so, she set out to create well-designed turbans that resembled carefully wrapped headwear.
Following the creation of these turbans, she rediscovered her love and appreciation for abayas. Seeing as they perfectly complemented her turbans in vibrant colours and trendy styles and silhouettes, she decided to go ahead with it. Thus, Abaya Lagos started as a side hustle for its architect founder but soon bloomed into a thriving business.
Unlike most fashion brands these days, Abaya Lagos focuses purely on modest fashion. The brand creates outfits that cover up a woman’s body without showing off too much skin. Its main product offerings are, therefore, tastefully designed turbans, abayas and kaftans.
Designs by Abaya Lagos
Abaya Lagos creates outfits for various occasions. The brand designs everything from party outfits to semi-causal, causal, and office outfits for its target audience. Depending on the taste of the customer, most of their outfits can be worn interchangeably for several occasions.
Asides from the extremely classy outfits, they make, their turbans speak volumes of style. Made with different materials and usually embellished with appliques or beads, the turbans are a statement on their own. Each of their pieces is worn without tying or fastening of any kind and are made in a ‘one size fits all’ style.
Abaya Lagos is characterised by vibrant colours, stylish silhouettes, and trendy cuts. Fabrics like velvet, silk, sagoe damask, and asooke are also a staple with them. To add more glam to their fashion products, the brand invests in elegant embroidery and beading work for their pieces.
How Abaya Lagos Attracts its Large Customer Base
Now 7 years old, Abaya Lagos has weathered the storms of the Nigerian fashion industry and attracted a large customer base to itself. The brand has dressed celebrities like Kate Henshaw, Chigurl, Rita Dominic, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Latasha Lagos.
So, how has Abaya Lagos been able to gather such a large customer base despite its focus on abayas and kaftans? We asked Salihat Rahaman, the founder of Abaya Lagos about this, and here’s what she said;
1. Cultivating Good Relationships with Clients
According to its founder and creative director, Selihat Rahaman, the brand has relied heavily on word of mouth referrals in its early stages. They have also focused on cultivating direct relationships with their clients to keep them endeared to the brand.
“We started our business before social media became a thing, so most of our customer base was formed by word of mouth and cultivating direct interpersonal relations with our clients.”Salihat Rahaman.
By doing this, Abaya Lagos has won the hearts of its clients. For fashion entrepreneurs, word of mouth marketing is one of the best forms of marketing that attracts droves of clients. Also, by relating with clients directly, they have been able to provide premium customer service to keep them coming back.
2. Focus on the Goal
Through the years, the brand has also remained focused on its goals and true to its vision. Even with all the distractions of the fashion industry, Abaya Lagos has continued in the line of its initial product offerings. The brand has consistently solved the problem of comfort, elegance, and class with its products.
This consistency, in many ways, has made its customers see it as a trustworthy brand that always delivers on its promise. A trustworthy brand is one customers will keep coming back to.
3. Consistency with Quality
Over time, the brand has also maintained a consistent strategy to keep its target market coming back to it. This strategy involves consistently maintaining a strong enough aesthetic to keep its clients attracted to the brand
“We endeavour to maintain a strong enough aesthetic and stay true to it. Ours is a luxury brand and we pride ourselves on exceptional quality and the uniqueness of our pieces.”Salihat Rahaman.
Being a luxury brand, Abaya Lagos has maintained its stance of quality with its fashion items. By using mostly velvet and silk for its pieces and embellishing them with hand embroidery and beading, the brand creates true luxury for its clients.
Even with the saturated fashion industry in Nigeria, Abaya Lagos by Salihat has succeeded at standing out and creating a unique niche for itself. The brand has proven that through consistency and great customer service, any fashion brand can soar.