Most conversations about the Nigerian fashion market tend to fuss on the luxury and mid-market segments, disregarding thousands of value brands that represent a large volume of an industry estimated to be worth over $2.5 trillion globally on which Nigeria’s fashion market is valued at 44.7 billion according to Euromonitor. This value segment, however, serves by far the largest number of people, and though they may be lesser-known than their first-class rivals, brands like Eydne, who creatively design Afrocentric outfits in Nigeria, has proven this to be true.
As a size 4 petite woman, Damilola Millicent Awosusi, a trained chemist from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and the Lead Designer/Creative Director of Eydne, Nigeria’s fast-budding fashion house and lifestyle brand, located in Nigeria’s commercial nerve, Lagos, got bitten by the fashion and marketing bug, spurring her into the business of creativity.
Damilola, who in a chat with Blitz-ng, narrated her ordeal and rationale behind the venture, said venturing into the line of business initially was to make personal outfits but as she mastered the skill and saw the endless possibilities in the industry, there was a great urge and push to set up a proper business as it was hard to get her exact size of clothing in the right section making her do a whole lot of shopping in the children section. Funny, right!
The marketing specialist who hails from Ekiti State, Nigeria, has shown dexterity coupled with her experience of over 3 years in the creative business, to understand that the lack of market acuity, lack of funding, resources, clarity and adaptability would make any fashion business go down the drain. “I personally experienced all four of them. It wasn’t until I gained clarity did the business begin to take shape” she said, further citing that branding also plays a major role in the success of any fashion business. “Branding is beyond the logo and font style. It’s a complete 360 outlook of the business” she purported.
Speaking about the relationship she had nurtured over the years with customers, the young and creative designer stressed that as a micro and growing business in this part of the universe, it might be difficult to give out on credit but the budding fashion house, Eydne, basically have an understanding with customers on terms of payments and the agreement to buy-now, pay-later.
In the words of Damilola, “Basically, there’s an understanding with the customers who require bespoke services to pay at least 60 per cent upfront before production and 40 per cent balance during delivery or collection. In the past, it was a struggle to recover payments after the final production of outfits. There’s been a time that I had to write off some debts as bad debts but I made sure that there was no bad blood with such customers. An Eydne customer will always be treasured no matter what. The ready-to-wear operates on a pay as you buy model, so it’s quite hassle-free and straightforward”.
Meanwhile, Eydne, in a push to thrive in a partially fragmented but highly competitive fashion market, recently launched her first ready to wear product, Spants by Eydne, a shorts line for the modern and diverse woman. The ready to wear Spants, just a few weeks old in the market, is experiencing a surge in its demand by ardent fashion lovers despite Nigeria’s stewing business environment.
Although, it’s been a ride of ups and downs on the learning curves; and having to understand both the technical as well as the business side of the fashion industry. However, as a sucker for prints, patterns and texture, Eydne strongly believes there’s a whole range of unexplored versatility in the production of materials as all production materials are sourced locally in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Production is another major challenge for me and I’m currently in talks with bulk garment manufacturers to solve this,” said Eydne chief executive. “Alternatively, I’m also looking forward to seed funding to help expand the business to have the capacity to employ more hands and acquire more equipment”.
One of the unique selling points of the Eydne brand is creating Afrocentric ready-to-wear clothing that infuses exciting and vibrant prints to offer simple and contemporary trendy designs that represent the beauty of a life lived happily. Similarly, Eydne is proudly Nigerian and the designs are created with love to inspire happiness and style.
The Eydne brand understands that clothing is beyond just the outfits, so they make it a duty to match your personality with your choice of outfits. The Eydne brand is also passionate about keeping the ecosystem free of non-biodegradable products, they use packaging materials that are 100 per cent eco-friendly. In addition, Eydne ensures sustainability by upcycling all excess fabrics into new products, to create a system that produces zero waste.
In the recent launch of Spants by Eydne, the business partnered with the Jadesola Jolaosho Cares Foundation to help cloth and feed Muslim kids for this year’s Salah festival with 20 per cent of sales profit made in July. This, amongst others, is sacrosanct to epitomising how philanthropic Damilola is; possessing the spirit of giving, lending a helping hand and sharing are some of the core values of the Eydne brand.
“Eydne is derived from Eden which signifies the garden in which Adam and Eve were placed at the Creation”.
Eden is a delightful place of dwelling, a paradise, a state of great delight, happiness, or contentment. Eden is bliss. These and more are what the Eydne brand stands for,” the creative designer told Blitz-ng.
She is a lover of vibrant prints and an adept fan of texture, versatility and everything unique and so is her typical customers. The Eydne brand caters to women that are bold and not afraid to stand out or be the centre of attraction. She says the Eydne woman is a light and inspiration to other women.
The Eydne brand is a growing brand that uses a mix of cost-plus pricing, penetration pricing and economy pricing. Subtly, there will be the introduction of bundle pricing and eventually, value-based pricing.
According to Damilola, “the brand is not just a label; it is a lifestyle experience that combines everyday women’s wear and contemporary fashion with fine art. It is for the modern women who value classic elegance. Women who can appreciate varying perspectives on life yet create their own. It is for the women who choose to live; not merely exist”.
Ultimately, the Eydne brand is set to be a lifestyle brand and a household name for fashion creativity and a fun brand to people of all races. The brand boasts of her mission to break the cycle of poverty by providing training and stable employment to the destitute.