Building a fashion accessories brand in Nigeria can be pretty competitive. With the number of handbag designers out there, it takes a lot of innovation, consistency and sheer willpower to stand out in the industry. Many handbag brands in Nigeria struggle with creating bags that look and feel unique for their audience. But, the good news is that it is possible.
This week, we had our eyes on Zashadu, a sustainable Nigerian brand that creates a diverse range of stylish handbags for the modern woman. Over the years, Zashadu has been able to craft unique handbags that truly encompass what it means to be classy and stylish. From an in-depth study of Zashadu, we have come up with ways that you can make your brand truly unique as well. But first, let’s take a look at the brand;
How Zashadu came to be a fashion accessories brand
Zashadu is the brainchild of Zainab Ashadu, a designer with a wide range of interests including art curatorship, architecture, acting and fashion styling. Owing to a passion Ashadu had for handbags since the age of 8, she returned to Nigeria from the UK where she had grown up and studied to start her brand.
For her, the bustling leather market Nigeria once had was an attraction. Seeing the opportunity to turn that leather into beautifully crafted clutch purses and handbags, she took it. Thus, Zashadu was born.
Zashadu is a sustainable fashion accessories brand that creates classy and stylish handbags with a theme around simplicity. The brand sources all of its leather from farmers in Northern Nigeria. Also, all of its pieces are crafted by local artisans using traditional techniques from centuries ago. This keeps the brand fresh and unique. Its motto is to achieve a “balance of beauty, functionality and simplicity, reviving and keeping alive old age West African leatherworking traditions”.
Fashion accessories designs by Zashadu
Zashadu creates bags for various occasions. For every event from going to the office to going to your favourite hangout spot, owambe, and even the red carpet, the brand has something.
Zashadu can be associated with a variety of colours and textures that pop and make heads turn. From the smallest clutch purse to the biggest office bag, its products speak beauty. The brand does all of this from a standpoint of classy simplicity, keeping accessories to a minimum.
Materials like antelope skin, goatskin, sheepskin, crocodile, and snakeskin are favourites with the brand. It also uses precious stones set in brass to glam up a piece and items like rabbit fur and tassels to add vibrancy to its offerings.
How Zashadu stands out in the fashion industry
With a presence in cities like London, Miami, Dublin, Johannesburg and, Paris, Zashadu is creating a world-class brand. Over the years, the brand has stood out from many of its counterparts in Nigeria. This has helped it create a unique market and customer base for itself. Let’s take a look at some of the steps Zashadu has taken to become a one-of-a-kind handbag brand in Nigeria.
1. Variety of bags for fashion accessories
The Zashadu brand creates a wide range of handbags with lots of variety in them. From the colour palette to the texture of its bags, the brand is constantly dishing out variety to its clients.
Unlike most brands that stick to the conventional leather we see out there, Zashadu launches into other types of leather and even infuses farmed exotic skins into its designs. This creates a different appeal to its bags and because customers love uniqueness, they make it theirs.
2. Unique Designs and Concepts for accessories
Thinking out of the box is another thing the Zashadu brand has. Rather than getting inspiration just from other bag designs, its creative director gets inspired through literature, art, film, beauty and nature. All of these mixed to form something truly unique.
Also, the brand offers a wide variety of designs and concepts to its audience. With bags in various shapes, sizes, and colours, it is hard to get bored with its selections. Every type of bag from the office worthy to the party bag can be found in Zashadu’s catalogue. This gives it an edge over brands that focus on just one type of handbag.
3. Unique Materials for the fashion accessories
Uniqueness always comes to play in the creative industry and Zashadu has used it to its advantage. It never shies away from exploring a wide range of materials for its bags whether it’s in leather or accessories.
With materials like antelope skin, goatskin, sheepskin, snakeskin, and crocodile, the brand uses a unique range of materials for its bags. Also, by sourcing precious stones like pearls and adding accessories like dyed rabbit fur to its offerings, its stands out effortlessly. All of these materials are, however, sustainably sourced and the animals are traceable.
How you can use this information right away to make your fashion accessories business stand out
As a fashion designer or fashion accessories designer in Nigeria, here are some ways you can use all this information to better your brand right now!
- Look for new and interesting ways to infuse the colours your target market love in your brand. Never be afraid to try out a mix of colours for your pieces to brighten up the day just like Femi Handbags.
- Offer your clients a wide range of designs and concepts to choose from in varying sizes. This puts more fun into your brand. The Lola Adeoti brand does this.
- Look out for unique materials your competitors are not using and infuse them into your brand like Muji Lagos. You’ll be surprised at how much your customers will love the variety.
- Widen your horizon and draw inspiration from everything and not just other handbags. It’ll help you reimagine the way you see your craft.
Even with the competitive fashion landscape in Nigeria, Zashadu has succeeded at standing out and creating world-class handbag pieces. It proves that through a uniform theme, variety, and lots of uniqueness, any brand can reach for the skies.