Brand and Technology Company Works with African Designers to Develop Capsule Collections

KISUA acts as a bridge to build capacity of MSMEs in the fashion industry

Young Africa Works partner KISUA, an African fashion brand and fashion technology company, collaborates with established and emerging African designers to develop ready-to-wear capsule collections with a modern African appeal (capsule collections are a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion). KISUA funds and produces all collaborative collections so that no financial burden is placed on the designer. In addition, the KISUA Designer Fund supports the designers with whom they collaborate, and through the fund, a portion of every sale is paid to the corresponding designer.

Essentially, KISUA acts as a bridge to build capacity and enables micro-, small-, and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) in the fashion industry to integrate into supply chains of large retailers, securing consistent and dignified work in the process. Under Young Africa Works, KISUA will scale their model through their e-commerce platform, Ananse. Their work will integrate a broader range of value chain actors — from cotton farmers, to yarn, fabric and garment producers, and fashion accessory artisans — across Africa into local and international supply chains.

In partnership with Mastercard Foundation, KISUA will improve the efficiency and business management capacity of fashion entrepreneurs in Africa. The goal is to facilitate linkage and see market off takers working consistently with 1,000 African fashion MSMEs. This will help to increase the confidence of institutional investors to expand access to affordable finance to African fashion entrepreneurs.

Meet some of the designers who are flourishing on KISUA’s ecommerce platform, Ananse

VATHISWA

“she is clothed in strength and dignity”

Portrait of Nigeria designer Morenikeji Akinsola

Nigeria designer Morenikeji Akinsola

VATHISWA is a fashion brand launched by Nigeria designer Morenikeji Akinsola. VATHISWA means “clothed” in Xhosa – a South African language.  Ms. Akinsola studied Fashion Design in South Africa before returning to Lagos to start her own fashion business. The Vathiswa brand motto is “she is clothed with strength and dignity”.  VATHISWA products are locally made by a community of young Nigerian women that Ms. Akinsola  has trained and employed. Through KISUA’s ecommerce platform, Ananse, Ms. Akinsola aims to take VATHISWA products to a larger African and international market.

Designs from VATHISWA

For Style Sake

Vibrant prints and rich textures

Salewah Oluwole (pictured) and her sister, Segi, started For Style Sake.

For Style Sake is a Nigerian fashion brand started by sisters and fashion bloggers Salewah and Segi Oluwole. The brand uses vibrant prints and rich textures to produce statement pieces. They are inspired by traditional Nigerian attire and use indigenous fabrics like Asoke to produce modern statement pieces. “We are excited to join the Ananse platform because we would love to see our pieces reach more parts of the world” they said.

Statement pieces from For Style Sake.

Ethnik by Tunde Owolabi 

Producing unique fabrics “the way it has been done over hundreds of years”

Portrait of designer Tunde Owolabi

Designer Tunde Owolabi

Ethnik by Tunde Owolabi is a shoes and bags brand based in Lagos. Tunde started his career as an artist before founding his fashion accessories brand. He designs his own patterns from the Asoke fabric that is used to make his shoes and handbags. He works with traditional Asoke weavers in Ogun state to produce his unique fabrics, “the way it has been done over hundreds of years”. Tunde is driven by the desire to showcase his native Yoruba culture, preserve his heritage and produce accessories in Nigeria for the trend-savvy international customer. He wants to use the Ananse platform POS and inventory management features to better manage his business and access new markets using the ecommerce features of the platform.

Designs from Ethnik by Tunde Owolabi.