It seems like there is African designer popping up everyday. There are some good ones and some not too good ones. Because the African fashion industry is booming a lot of people are taking advantage of that to launch their labels with no training at all. I will make a post about those who are just starting out and needs tips start their business in a separate series. This post is about those who already started and are struggling to put their names out there. Below are 3 simples tips to get you going.
CREATE A WEBSITE:
One of the most important thing to do in this day and age if you are a designer is to create a website. Its a way for those of us that are far from you to access your work.You do not need any fund to create a page to promote your work. You can start by creating a blog . The task is not only to create a site but make it user friendly and updated. I have visited websites of a few African designers and did not know where to get the info I needed . The layout was poor and the first page was overloaded with pictures. It's also very disappointing to visit your fave African designers sites only to find that the sites no longer exist.If you want to see what a great fashion website look alike you can check out Maki-oh's , Christie Brown's or Tiffany Amber's.
MAGAZINE EDITORS AND FASHION BLOGGERS SHOULD BE YOUR BEST FRIENDS
5 years ago African designers had an excuse because there was only 1 or two sites out there promoting African fashion. Today there are multitude of websites , magazines , and blogs dedicated in promoting the work of African Designers. Don't expect people to find you and talk about you because keep in mind that there are plenty of talented designers like yourself knocking at every door to promote their work. keep the bloggers informed of every important event happening with regards of your brand. If you are selling online offer them discount codes for their readers. Believe it or not a good discount will bring me to any fashion site especially my favorite brands. Example of a designer that is always on top of their game as far a keeping ciaafrique on the loop is Virgos lounge.
CREATE A LOOKBOOK
Believe it or not I have been asked before by one or two designers about how to make a lookbook. I am not a designer so i could not tell you where to go or who to contact but one thing i do know is that they are very important. How can a lookbook help you ? Well first and foremost its a way for people to see your styling skills and a great way to show how they can wear your clothes . The way you put your clothes together draw people to buy it . I am not sure how much its cost put a lookbook together , but shooting your models in the middle of your living room with is not OK. If you are running a business you should be able to invest a little bit of time and money into it . As a buyer I will rather buy from a from a designer that has a good lookbook than one that just who just has crappy pictures. Examples of some designers that make beautiful lookbooks are Jewel by Lisa, Obsidian and Lola Faturoti , Chichia London, Republic of foreigner
These are only a few tips that a young African designer can take to better promote their work in the every booming African fashion industry. I have more steps coming up next week. In the meantime as a buyer what do you think our African designers can do to improve themselves? READ PART 2 HERE
Photo by: Fashizblack