There are a lot of Nigerian fashion brands that are now being recognized internationally due to the uniqueness of their brands. Nigerian fashion brands such as Tiffany Amber, Imad Eduso, Orange Culture and many others are consistently changing the outlook of the fashion industry and affecting their environments and communities positively.
One of the Nigerian fashion brands that is also making waves internationally is Andrea Iyamah. The fashion brand which is popularly known for its eccentric and ethnic culture-inspired swimwear is steadily becoming a force to reckon with. So, how did this come about? What are some of the decisions and steps that propelled Andrea Iyamah to become an internationally recognized fashion brand?
About Andrea Iyamah
Andrea Iyamah is a fashion brand that designs ready-to-wear, bespoke and swimwear outfits that are largely inspired by the colours, culture, nature, and design elements in Africa. Since 2011, the Andrea Iyamah brand has strived to be recognised as one that celebrates ethnicity with a modern twist, while maintaining its attention to quality and detail.
The fashion brand, which initially started as a fashion blog, is owned by Nigerian fashion designer, Dumebi Iyamah. Just like many fashion entrepreneurs these days, Dumebi Iyamah always had a passion for fashion designing, and this encouraged her to acquire some tailoring skills over the years.
It is not uncommon for startup or fashion brand owners to face a few challenges at the start of business, but the most important thing is figuring out a way to deal with those challenges. As a fashion brand owner starting her brand in high school, funding was one of the challenges Dumebi Iyamah faced.
“Understanding our market and making small steps at a time to avoid making big expensive mistakes was important to overcome this challenge.” – Dumebi Iyamah
Moving forward, however, Dumebi Iyamah channelled all the effort and funds from student savings and other sources into her fashion brand and trusted the market to buy into the brand.
Similar to other industries, brands in the fashion industry are bound to have some, if not a lot of competitions. These competitions would arise due to the similarities in target audiences, product offerings, as well as the price range of their products.
BFyne is one of the competitions in the swimwear industry, that offers similar products. By offering and utilising culturally inclusive designs, Buki Ade, the Nigerian fashion designer, is revolutionising the swimwear industry. The brand designs the swimsuits with traditional dashiki prints and other Afrocentric prints that showcase the richness in African culture.
Nakimuli, is a Ugandan fashion label, that design a variety of swimwear in funky colours, styles and shapes. They are made for forward-thinking women who promote self-love and are not afraid to show their class and elegance. The products which are a harmonious blend of prints, colours and ethnic inspiration with a funky feminine aesthetic have a similar target audience and price range to Andrea Iyamah.
The fashion brand creates outfits using vibrant colours and cuts inspired by an array of African cultures. And through these pieces, they cater to women across all borders who are confident, adventurous, and unafraid of clothing designed with a statement.
The designs, whether for the ready-to-wear pieces or the swimwear, are very detailed, and represent some of the latest trends in the fashion industry. With outfits like pleated tops, tiered pants, and swimwear with fine cuts and silhouettes, the Andrea Iyamah brand is indeed for the contemporary woman.
Products in the Andrea Iyamah brand have different price ranges depending on the type of outfit. A simple swimwear ranges from about 40 USD to 200 USD, while ready-to-wear outfits are between 80 USD to 300 USD.
The Andrea Iyamah brand is one that would surely be mentioned when highlighting swimwear brands that take into consideration the African culture and prints in their designs.