Fashion is one of the oldest industry in the world. It has existed many generations before us and will continue to exist years to come. The likes of iconic and talented designers such as Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld amongst others have built brands that have become recognizable anywhere.
Fashion is influenced by different factors and incidents happening around us. It has evolved over time with many fashion brands of their time working so hard to create a brand that will transcend all barriers and become acceptable worldwide. For instance, we’ve known the Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga etc for their distinct brand identity.
Fast forward to Africa in recent times, many big talents have emerged and are gaining global attention in the fashion world. They are working tirelessly to create their own unique aesthetics and signatures that will be seen as unique, African and at the same time match up global brands. The likes of Deola Sagoe, Taibo Bacar, Christie Brown, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Lisa Folawiyo amongst others have been seen on international platforms where they have shown their creativity and talent as proud African Designers.
So the question is how do you build your fashion brand into a global one?
Research and know your trade
As a designer aspiring to grow and become internationally recognized, it’s prudent to know other designers who have treaded similar paths and how they made it. Through research, you can learn from them as well as know how you can incorporate our African heritage, culture, fabric, textures into your work to create your own distinct and unique designs.
Create unique aesthetics for your brand
From your fabric choice or customized print to the designs, colors, silhouettes and the finishing of your pieces, you have to create that feel that makes your brand stand out from any other. Make sure all your online and offline feel are in sync to give an overall experience to your customers.
Identify your market
Knowing your target market influences your choice of fabric, pricing, design and marketing promotions. This helps to choose which market your brand will sell and which ones will not. For instance, you need to know your market level to know where to position your brand in the value chain and what kinds of people you want to wear your cloths.
Move from passion driven to business model
Many emerging designers have started their fashion brands as a result of their passion for fashion. As much as passion driven is a great thing, your brand needs to grow beyond your love and passion for fashion into a business. You need to begin to see yourself as an entrepreneur in order to move the brand to a bigger level. This also means that you need to know the right time to get structures in place that will enable the business to run effectively with or without your involvement in every aspect of the business operation.
As a fashion designer looking to build a brand that is recognizable globally, the aforementioned could be helpful in positioning your brand as one of the best on the continent.
By Faith Senam Ocloo
The writer is the founder of E’April Public Relations, a boutique PR firm. Senam is a fashion public relations specialist with interest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She can be reached on +233272686959, firstname.lastname@example.org, @senamapril on Instagram and @faithsenam on Twitter.