On what she would like to see changed in the Nigerian fashion industry.
I want to see more buyers at fashion shows. The team at Lagos Fashion & Design Week (LFDW) have done a great job of getting buyers from around the world to take notice of the Nigerian fashion industry. I would love to see more fashion shows put in as much effort as LFDW to give upcoming designers the chance to understand retail and market segmentation amongst other necessities needed to grow a successful brand.
I also need the mind-set of some creatives to change from seeing fashion as just wearing pieces and waiting on their “street-style-shot-of-fame” to actually understanding that it is a business, like any other, that requires deliberate efforts and certain skills to achieve success. Running a fashion business in Nigeria exposes one to the facts of how little people know about the business side of fashion. They fail to grasp that the fashion industry is capable of growing the economy and generating millions of dollars if properly managed and this must change.
On what three important lessons she would teach a younger designer seeking to establish their own independent store.
There are many lessons I could teach a young design on this topic, but as requested, I’ll stick to three. Firstly, before opening a store, you must understand your brand’s aesthetic and stick to that in your delivery at the store. For instance, Wana Sambo is a ready-to-wear brand and this means that all products available in the store come in standard measurements/sizes. Any items tailored-to-fit (even off-the-rack styles) are immediately transferred to the custom order department. Secondly, once you are successful with the above, you must be consistent in your delivery at the store. Consistency builds trust in your brand and this will go a long way in fetching new clients. Lastly, customer service must be top priority as it is an important tool for measuring success. If customers continually receive poor service, they are less likely to come back for more purchases or recommend your brand to their friends.
For more on Wana Sambo, check out her Instagram page here.
Visit the flagship store at 24 Fola Osibo Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.