African Fashion: Prosper Africa Aims To Expand The African Fashion And Art Industries.
At the Heineken Lagos Fashion Week honoring Africa as it creates the future of fashion, the city of Lagos welcomed fashion aficionados, designers, models, and investors from Africa and the rest of the world.
Through the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa project, new customers, suppliers, and investment opportunities are made available to U.S. and African enterprises. In order to discuss difficulties affecting the expanding creative business and how to scale the industry in Africa, Landmark Towers hosted fashion and art designers as well as corporate investors at the Fashion Business Series event.
Africa’s fashion industry has seen an increase in global awareness and demand, according to their research titled “Investment and collaboration potential in Africa’s creative industries.” Additionally, it states that major international stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales have put in place retail initiatives to help up-and-coming African designers.
Will Stevens, U.S. Consul General, explained to our reporters how initiatives like Prosper Africa can scale the fashion industry in Nigeria. He said, “Prosper Africa as an entity based in Washington DC looks to support discrete initiatives and hire companies to do a report to look at the creative industries and figure out what we can be doing together to export or increase activities and accelerate.
For the US government and private sector investment, they found certain challenges and opportunities.
He mentioned examples of a small-scale female designer who received a $10,000 grant from the US Africa Development Foundation (USADF) after completing an American government-sponsored training program when he said that the initiative will be looking at everything from micro-grants to small enterprises in Nigeria.
He added that institutional investors with a minimum investment of $100 million are being brought in to fund venture capital firms operating in Nigeria so that they may begin the difficult task of locating possibilities to speed up the expansion of the already thriving sector.
The report claims that in order to establish global alliances that would scale the export of African art, the art market needs more solid market links.
Prosper Africa aims to address some of the problems with the physical infrastructure and talent infrastructure in the fashion ecosystem from the perspective of the investment landscape.
In an interview with our reporters, Claire Idera, an art and fashion educator at CI Workshop, stated that one of the fundamental issues in the fashion and art design ecosystem is education. She claimed that there are no art or design classes in the Nigerian educational system, thus her company, “CI Workshop,” trains people in design research, fabric creation, and bringing development into clothing.
She also urges the government, other investors, and private venture capital to sponsor these programs. She claims that the majority of the fashion industry is conducted on the street and on social media, where brands compete to gain as many as 10,000 followers in the hope that this will boost sales. Because they didn’t go to fashion school or obtain the appropriate training, they still don’t realize that the problem is with their design.
A lot of work needs to be done in the fashion industry to scale up businesses from customization to mass production, and business owners also need to be trained on the export market and how to properly package their products for the U.S. and international markets, the U.S. Consul General said in a statement that served as his conclusion.
Content courtesy of Business Day & NFH