It’s not uncommon these days to have a middle man between the manufacturer and the customer, that is, a person or brand that sells outfits, shoes, or accessories from the manufacturer directly to the client. This aspect of fashion is regarded as fashion retailing, and it is a consumer goods market characterised by a short product life cycle, consumer changing choices, as well as competition.
World fashion retailers such as Inditex, The Gap, H&M, and RunwaySale have been able to bridge the gap between manufacturers and customers, even with the constantly changing trends and styles. ALÁRA, a widely recognised fashion retail brand in Nigeria, has been breaking boundaries in the global fashion industry. Here’s how.
ALÁRA, coined from the Yoruba word that means wondrous performer, is a Nigerian fashion retail store that is dedicated to showcasing products ranging from fashion, contemporary art, design, cuisine, and culture. The luxury and lifestyle concept store, which was the first of its kind in West Africa, was founded by Reni Folawiyo, a fashion entrepreneur and businesswoman.
Through ALÁRA, Reni Folawiyo has been able to redefine fashion luxury for Nigerians, as well as developing Nigeria to become the biggest fashion hub in Africa, despite a career change from law to fashion, arts, and design. The architecture which ALÁRA is also popularly known for was done by David Adjaye, a British-Ghanian architect who has designed many buildings including the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.
“I felt that we needed something iconic that would change our city, change the way we see ourselves, also change the way the world sees us.” – Reni Folawiyo
What makes ALÁRA different from other retail stores is the seamless way they merged the fashion stores with art, food, and culture stores. How has this been made possible?
The concept store features a unique exhibition-style retail space, an art gallery as well as a restaurant and terrace lounge, and with this, the ALÁRA store is highly appealing to customers.
“We haven’t patronised our own craft enough. If you put African craft into a contemporary context, people will covet it. But it must be presented spectacularly, that way we can love it again.” – Reni Folawiyo
Outfits, shoes, and accessories from fashion designers such as Maki Oh, Lisa Folawiyo, Kenneth Ize, Deola Sagoe, and many more have found a place to be showcased to prospective clients in the ALÁRA store.
The Nok By ALÁRA division is a contemporary pan-African restaurant that serves reinvented African foods with an innovative twist, all in a fancy space with contemporary art and design.
Products like beaded chairs, scented candles, journals, Moroccan lanterns, and many more which showcase the culture and heritage in Africa also be found in the ALÁRA store, therefore making it the go-to store for everything culture, art and so on.
How ALÁRA Contributes To The Society
With a mentorship and fashion competition, Emerge ALÁRA, the fashion retail brand is committing to the discovery, support, and growth of young creatives in Africa and beyond.
“This marks the beginning of an important journey to discover and celebrate young creatives on the continent and diaspora, at a depth and scale that hasn’t been done before.” – Reni Folawiyo
The ALÁRA brand, with its eye-catching building and interior decor, is one that showcases and appreciates African culture, in terms of fashion, culture, cuisine, and art.