Fashion world’s ever-watchful eyes must turn towards Africa. There is a crop of established fashion superstars that have exploded onto the scene with something unique to offer. They are warm African hearts who have authentically thrived in the most distinctive way, empowering talent on the continent and creating meritocracy and more opportunities for those who have fewer privileges.
This special episode of Third Culture Africans, recorded live in Shoreditch House, features four amazing and incredibly inspiring journeys into the fashion industry. Lisa, Denola, Nkwo, and Arieta each share their experiences of thriving in the “striving for recognition” fashion environment.
A lot of work goes into transitioning from a concept to turning it into a brand and the value it gives back. Listen hands-on about how hard work, consistency, and authenticity are vital when building a brand in the fashion industry. The panelists share how they have built their brands, providing valuable insights and perspectives on the challenges they face. Their expertise sheds light on the dynamics of the fashion industry and offers guidance for aspiring individuals or brands seeking success.
The conversation touches on the concept of African fashion and its interpretation, with the panelists sharing their perspectives. The discussion also explores the balance between creativity and profitability when building a brand.
Lisa, a prominent figure in the industry, discusses her approach that contributes to refocusing the continent’s fashion lens on craftsmanship. She also talks about scaling, the financial benefits of collaboration, the importance of fashion weeks and platforms for reach and visibility, and the obstacles she faced as a female entrepreneur.
The topic of scale and growth is also addressed. Nkwo shares her experience and lessons in managing and expanding her brand while maintaining design integrity. She explains her circular approach and talks about innovative fabrics and proprietary ownership.
Denola highlights telling individual stories through fashion and pushing creativity as far as possible. He also talks about the role of e-commerce in the industry and the post-colonial ecosystem of fashion and style.
Arieta, a data-driven omnichannel marketing leader with 17 years of international experience in brand, communications, and marketing, who has been on the show before, delves into brand growth goals, mainstream retailers, and the factors that can cause brands to fail.
- 👋 Welcome Lisa, Denola, Nkwo and Arieta to Third Culture Africans!: (00:00:00)
- 🎙️ Introducing each guest & concept for the episode: (00:01:31)
- 💃 Women becoming entrepreneurs in the fashion industry during 2005 according to Lisa & Zeze: (00:06:28)
- ♻️ Nkwo designing for possibilities & tackling the upcycling direction: (00:13:05)
- 🌍 Everyone’s opinion as to whether there is an African fashion or not: (00:15:29)
- 💰 Difference between brand and money according to Denola: (00:31:54)
- 📈 How Arieta sets brand growth goals: (00:39:07)
- 🏗️ Nkwo’s new perspective for brand building and getting recognition: (00:40:35)
- 🔑 Lisa’s biggest lessons around scaling: (00:48:07)
- 🌱 How Nkwo thinks of scale and how she protects it: (00:52:28)
- 🤝 Why do brands need collaboration according to Denola and Arieta: (00:57:35)
- 👠 Are fashion weeks necessary for African brands?: (01:00:27)
- 🛍️ Mainstream retailers: should the fashion world be betting on African designers?: (01:07:27)
- ❌ Factors that cause brands to fail according to Arieta: (01:08:06)
- 💻 Space for e-commerce in the fashion industry: (01:10:10)
- ⚡ Quick fire questions: (01:18:01)
Shoreditch House – https://www.sohohouse.com/houses/shoreditch-house
Connect with Lisa Folawiyo:
Connect with Denola Grey (Denola Adepetun):
Connect with Nkwo Onwuka:
Connect with Arieta Mujay: