These are harsh times.
They say we need to help our economy by patronising local businesses. Because, #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira.
So I decided to say bye-bye to my Abroad stores that were willing to deliver to my door.
I said lemme try Nigerian designers.
The first thing I noticed is that Nigerian fashion labels are too Couturish. Taiye Couture, Kehinde Couture, Frodo Couture, Buy-In-Yaba-And-Spray-Perfume Couture, Couture Couture.Starting from Instagram. I saw one Instagram fashion designer. I said lemme buy one skirt. What I saw online vs what arrived was like,
When its not as if the
merchants on AliBaba.com people in my village are following me.
It gets interesting. I now said lemme go and buy cloth. I went to one store. Let’s call them Agboju Couture. I touched one regular looking shirt. 35,000 naira.
I asked why, they said in those accents that they download from long hours of watching Oyinbo people on Youtube.
I’ve actually seen photos of some of them with their clothes on runways in The Abroad. But not Agboju Couture.
Then I looked deeply into the eyes of this person that was trying to send me back to village and was like,
But I still want to epp our economy in my own little way, so every time I rant about it, I can say I’m doing my little.
So I hit up my loyal guy Sura the Tailor,
Meanwhile, I decided to go check out the market to buy materials myself. I went to Tinubu Market, in Lagos Island, and all the different fabrics I saw had me like,
I entered one shop to buy materials, and who do I see bending down and selecting beside me? Its the CEO of Agboju Couture.
Agboju starts to speak interesting English and I’m like,
How do you explain the amount you’re charging me when you’re buying the same fabrics I’m buying which would probably cost me just about 10,000 naira plus tailoring?
Muzzbe the fact that the tailor learned work in heaven and is sewing Jalabia for the Angelic host.
Some of these luxury brands in Nigeria make solid stuff, for their solid target markets, with solid bank account. My own bank account is doing like this.
But then they have their market. So why are you charging London price for Lagos fabric? There’s an answer. Because you want to sew one dress and use it the profit of that one dress to build house.
But if I had to choose Sura that would sew something that would cost me 10 grand, or Agboju that would cost me 40? Of the same quality? Easy choice.
Maybe this explains why my Tailor Sura always delivers, and is never in debt, even though he doesn’t have Youtube Oyinbo tongue, while Agboju is in debt and refuses to pay our staff. While Sura is making 10 dresses a month at 10 grand each, Agboju is struggling to sell one dress.
There are many great designers out there, there are just as many mediocre ones. In the end, shine your eye, and if somebody wants to use price to cut your head, you know what to do.