Advice for new African Designers

African fashion is as unique and diverse as the people who wear it. From Ankara gowns to beadwork, there are many different types of African fashion that suit all tastes. Even with so many different options, it can be hard for African designers to get noticed. Luckily, there are several ways to stand out from the crowd and become more visible in this oversaturated market. The world of fashion is highly competitive, but that doesn’t mean you have to play by its rules to succeed as a producer. Instead of trying to get featured on catwalks or find a big-name sponsor, focus on creating a brand that accurately reflects your identity and conveys your message. These tips will help you grow as a producer while also making sure potential customers find out about your work.

Know your audience

Before you try to connect with any potential buyers, you should have a good idea of who will be interested in your products. If you’re just getting started, you may have to do a bit of research to find out who your target customer is. Ask yourself questions like: Where do your customers live? How old are they? What are their cultural backgrounds? How much are they willing to spend on apparel or accessories? You can also look at other African brands and see who buys their products. This will help you create a brand that appeals to a wide audience so you can get the most out of your business. If your brand appeals to a specific group, you may have difficulty reaching a large customer base.

Be transparent about production costs

If you decide to sell clothing online, you’ll have to include a section about the cost of materials. Customers are likely to be curious about how much their products cost and who made them. You can also use this section to discuss the inspiration behind your designs and how they reflect your brand identity. Be transparent about the costs of each garment and where the materials came from. You can also include information about how your company is benefiting those who made the garments. Customer trust can be difficult to earn, but being honest up front can help customers trust you.

Focus on digital communication

For a small-scale operation like many African fashion brands, you don’t need to hire a PR team or host an elaborate fashion show. Instead, use your existing social media channels to communicate with potential customers. Advertise your products on Instagram and build a following of people who like your content. You can also use this platform to respond to comments and ask questions to your followers. By engaging with your audience on a personal level, you’ll make them more likely to support your brand. You can also create a blog where you can share your thoughts and advice on African fashion and design.

Network with influencers

African fashion has grown significantly in recent years, so you’re bound to come across some other producers. Find the people in your field who are a good fit for your brand, and reach out to them. You can send these people free samples of your work and ask them to wear it in a photo shoot. If you’re lucky, the influencer may even mention your name during the post! This will help you become more visible in the market and attract new customers. You can also start a hash tag on Instagram and encourage your followers to use it when they post pictures of themselves wearing your clothes. This will increase your exposure and allow your customers to interact with one another.

Create quality content

Not all of your marketing efforts need to be digital in nature. You can also create physical ads and images that will help potential customers see your brand. Consider making a poster or t-shirt that advertises your brand and sell printed versions of it. You can also try to get your designs featured in magazines. Even if these publications don’t pay you for your work, the extra exposure could help you grow your business. Finally, make sure you’re creating high-quality designs. If you want customers to buy your products, they need to be impressed by the designs. You don’t have to be a professional designer, but you should have a basic understanding of design principles like colour schemes and symmetry. Creating quality designs will help you stand out from the crowd and make it easier for customers to identify with your brand.


The fashion industry is a competitive one, but there are many ways to stand out as an African producer. Start by knowing your audience and being transparent about the costs of your garments. Network with influencers and create quality content to help potential customers discover your style. Finally, make sure you’re branding accurately reflects your cultural identity so that customers can see themselves in your products.