VENTURES AFRICA – African designers continue to flaunt their designs on major international runways, but there is a need to make these designs easily accessible to people living outside Africa. Some fashion entrepreneurs believe that African designers need an innovative push to better showcase their talent on a global platform. African Inspired E-boutiques have gradually been created in order to bridge this gap and make these African inspired designs more available to the mainstream global market, with a sole purpose of supporting trade in Africa as a whole.
Below are some Online African inspired boutiques that are improving the African Fashion Industry by providing a wide range of African inspired designs.
In June 2009, My Asho (meaning cloth in Yoruba) was launched to create and promote the talents of African designers based all over the world. MyAsho.com works with local markets throughout Africa and assures high-quality and affordable pieces; most of their products are ethically handcrafted and produced in limited quantities. “We aspire to become a one-stop-shop for the best in authentic African inspired designs. We work closely with all our designers and stylists, choosing beautiful pieces from their collections to offer to a savvy fashion-forward international audience.” The African e-boutique showcases designers like Jewel by Lisa, Washington Roberts, Malaika Designs, Kiki Clothing, Toju Foyeh and many more. My Asho has been featured on- CNN Market Place Africa, Marie Claire, ARISE, MTV and other top media houses.
Founded in 2009 with headquarters in CapeTown, South Africa, Africhic is a premier online platform with a focus to support designers and ethical production in Africa. The premier online platform showcases fashion, beauty and design products made in Africa. In 2010, AfriChic was awarded the Retailer of the Year Award by African Fashion International. The retail portal presents an array of clothing, handbags and jewellery. Africhic is a unique platform for industry fashionistas to access creativity from African designers.
LE TABOURET D’OR
Le Tabouret D’Or is an e-boutique that features curated fashion pieces that consist of luxury African fashion made by top African designers.It was founded in 2011 by Serwaa Adjei-Pellé. With a personal experience of being approached by people who didn’t have direct access to African clothing, She decided to bridge that gap and make African designs accessible to people living in the U.S. The site launched with top designers like Deola Sagoe, Kachi Designs and Christie Brown.
AGNES & LOLA
With a vision to contribute to the development of Africa, Anges and Lola is an independent online boutique selling items by African Influenced Designers. “The name is formed of the owner’s name ‘Lola’ and her grandmother’s name ‘Agnes’. Agnes was the quintessential woman of style who was just as intelligent as she was stylish… one would say a woman of yesteryear grace. She embodied a key trait that the boutique celebrates which is feminine individuality through the African lens. Think Miriam Makeba, think Iman, think Alek Wek, the boutique is inspired by the unique nature of African feminine style.” The online spot is also committed to working with organizations that invest in self sustainable socio-economic projects across Africa. Agnes&Lola displays designs by Kemkem Studio, Zedeye, Project Sierra Leone, and Chichia London.
Africa Batik online boutique brings a mix of contemporary African inspired designs by providing supportive ethical platform for established and emerging African designers and artisans; by creating a link between them and a global pool of potential clients. “At Africa Batik one of our fundamental aims is to highlight the immense creative strength of exceptional African designers, who combine unique African influences with current fashion trends. We offer an exciting shopping experience by unearthing amazing discoveries that encapsulate centuries of colourful and rich African culture, bringing African fashion to the forefront of the global fashion consciousness.” Africa Batik aims to celebrate the vibrant African spirit through fashion, by displaying unique and exceptional African designers with designs that display African influences with current fashion trends.
OSISI is an independent African-inspired fashion company that is dedicated to promoting cultural interaction through fashion. It features designers from 11 top African countries-Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Zambia, DRC, and Cameroon. Osisi has a goal of contributing to the sustainability of the African fashion industry by showcasing the works of African fashion designers. The company prides itself in culture, quality, service and promises to provide a fantastic online shopping experience to its customers.
StylesAfrik is the premier online clothing and arts store in UK with an interest in African influenced designs and culture. It is an innovative and unique hub for promoting and advertising African based projects in arts and culture, fashion, online shopping portal and retail outlet for designers. ” We believe that our unique position within the fashion, arts and culture industry and with the increasing interest and demand of African influenced designs across the country is critical to our initial success and long-term growth.”
ASOS Africa collection was created under the prestigious UK online fashion and beauty shopping store-ASOS. With the aim of promoting African people and its continent, Asos Africa collaborated with SOKO Kenya (“dedicated to developing a sustainable and long term solution to the economic problems in the Kenyan community”) to feature tailored pieces produced exclusively for Asos. Asos Africa is specifically designed, produced and sourced by community groups in Kenya with the aim of supporting trade in Africa.
In 2008 creative director and founder, Enyinne Owunwanne started Heritage 1960 with a vision to basically portray the positive aspects of Africa through fashion, design and creativity.
“By day I worked at a Hedge Fund, but by night I worked on establishing a vintage retail shop in Harlem with a friend. It started off as a hobby, but blossomed into a lucrative business. I decided to pursue a Masters Degree in Global Fashion Management at FIT so I could better understand the business side of the apparel industry.” Upon graduating, she worked as a US Business Development Manager at London-based trend forecasting company Worth Global Style Network (WGSN). “It was a great experience because I was able to further learn the ins and outs of a number of different businesses, from apparel to retail to wholesaling and sourcing.”
Heritage1960 is an online retail destination offering a curated view of global African fashion, lifestyle, and design. Named after the year 17 African countries won their independence, Heritage1960 celebrates freedom, individuality and unique style inspired by the continent. Since its inception, it has been featured on Huffington Post, ARISE magazine, Essence Magazine, Applause Africa and many more media platforms.
36Boutiques is South Africa’s premier online store. They believe in creating a balance by showcasing both local and international brands and products while aspiring to the highest standard of quality, fit and fashionability.