Understanding Nigeria’s Luxury Market

Recent trends in Nigeria have shown an increase in our luxury business segments especially around fashion, art and craft. Since this is an important sector is for any fully developed economy due to the way it helps drive value added manufacturing, keeps the high margin spending within a country’s borders, as well as its contribution to culture and business in general, it’s important to have some measurable information as to it’s structure, size, network effects and more. There’s currently a big dearth of available information about many of our emerging luxury brands.

I’m trying to put together a list of the brands that represent this sector in Nigeria in order to gather more information about them. So far the names I have include:

1. Alara

The luxury retail store opened that opened last year has become an instant landmark around high concept stores in Nigeria. They carry top Nigeria and foreign brands, artwork, crafts and more. You can read more about them at StyleMeAfrica.

2. Maki Oh

The clothing brand created by Amaka Osakwe is, to me, the premier name in Nigerian fashion right now. For some reason, a lot of other names I learned about at the same time I first heard of Maki Oh, like Ituen Basi and co have largely taken a backseat, while Maki Oh’s profile has been on the rise with a well received Spring 15 collection, and a nod from Michelle Obama.

3. Okunoren Twins

The men’s luxury brand has a lot of things going for it. One of those brands I want to get a jacket from, simply because they’ve managed a level of consistency in quality that you don’t see often in Nigeria.

4. Jewel x Lisa

Jewel by Lisa is one of those sneaky brands that have an incredible commitment to quality, and culturally distinct image but also somehow small and under the radar. It’s also one of the few that I could find a revenue number for (around $500,000, unconfirmed and likely at the lower end of sales of Nigerian brands). The brand has sold at Selfridges, which puts it close to Maki Oh as far as international presence but that hasn’t fully translated into huge revenues probably because they’re not as known domestically.

5. Mai Atafo

I have heard this name all over the men’s tailored clothing segment, especially among entertainers and celebrities. If you asked me to guess, they’re among the leading names when it comes to domestic (and possibly overall) revenue. They seem to have the most well developed ‘game’ in the industry.

Other than this five, there are a lot of up and comers, aiming to break into the market and establish their brands or fill in the different gaps in the supply chain ( shout out to the go to destination for fabrics online, Itunu Fabrics)  I’m trying to find out more of them, what they’re doing and how the ecosystem is being developed. I’ll appreciate suggestions, they don’t have to be limited to fashion, it could include art, retailers, and more. The only condition is that they have to be wholly Nigerian. Over the coming months, I’ll try to get as much information as I can about them to help give shape to our understanding of this growing space.

One thing I’ve noticed is that Nigerians seem to equate luxury with foreign brands, especially the well known ones. I think it goes with our culture and how image conscious it is. However, there’s also been an enthusiastic embrace of those Nigerian brands who commit to excellence and quality in their products, branding and marketing. With the recent trends in the space, we’re likely to see more brands, and more growth for Nigerian names.

It’s a good place to keep our eyes on. If you know more brands, trends or more information about the ones I’ve listed here, do comment or get in touch with me. I really want to learn as much as I can, and of course, will gladly share all that I learn. Things like revenue, business model/structure, fabric sourcing, Thanks!

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