KENYA GETS A MENTION ON THE BUSINESS OF FASHION AS AFRICA'S NEXT FRONTIER.

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The Business Of Fashion talked about Kenya which focuses on building a fashion market place for everyone. Robb Young was able to speak to a number of people including Diana Opoti who hosts a Pan-African show called Designing Africa where she was able to talk about Mitumbas which has made people be able to access luxury brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton.“The mitumba business has played an important role in brand awareness here,” says Diana Opoti. She also talks about how many brands don't exist as official franchises but instead are mostly found in second hand stalls- “for a while, H&M, Zara and Gap were the most popular clothes distributed in second-hand stalls here. So while we do have global brands, many don’t yet exist as official franchises but rather in stores selling past season products, imports from Asia or knock-offs. By global standards these retail structures must seem informal and fragmented – but they’re in fact quite deliberate.”
Irene Abagi, one of the entrepreneurs behind Kenyan e-commerce start-up Closet49.com which is an online marketplace says “Mitumba is extremely prominent here and said to be worth billions. Due to poverty levels, second-hand is still the largest market. And for the middle and upper classes, in addition to availability, it’s the ability to get designer items at a fraction of the cost, sometimes still brand new with the tags on. For local designers, it’s a constant battle to remain relevant, get good margins and protect your innovation,”.
According to me the market has a greater opportunity for global brands to be able to open new stores but are the Kenyan people really ready for this brands? With factors like being able to afford the clothes without having to break the bank and being able to survive in the economy are some of the questions the common mwananchi will be having in mind but thats just my opinion.
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Source:
The Business Of Fashion.  

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