Today on the blog is a very brief interview I did with PR extraordinaire and stylist, Arieta Mujay popularly known as ArietaWHO. Born in the UK and raised in Nigeria, Arieta is a true lover of the world of fashion and she has an amazing resume to prove that. She was the head of public relations for 5 years at the infamous high street brand, River Island. As the head of PR, she worked with Rihanna (I’m choking on jealousy right now!!! Haha) on her clothing collaboration with River Island after which she left the retail chain business and decided to start something for herself and might I say, something dedicated to helping her nation. She launched the Africa Creative Collective which was inspired by the need to expose the hidden prospects of African fashion to the rest of the world.
It was more than a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview her and the answers given were very straight-to-the point but insightful. I would say that this is a must read for any one looking to work in the fashion industry in any part of Africa. We need more and more people like Arieta in the African fashion industry to promote and take our local talents and transform them into world class brands. She has done so with top clients like Orange Culture which is owned by Bayo Oke Lawal. So read, assimilate and let’s take African fashion to another level.
The fashion industry has experienced tremendous growth in the last 5 years, what do you think has contributed greatly to this particular growth?
Telecommunications and technology are responsible for the growth of the fashion industry in Africa. Everyone is online in Africa and are able to keep up with their international peers, as such we have a generation of kids who are very international savvy.
What would you say is the disadvantage of going into the fashion industry in Africa?
There are no disadvantages if you prepare well in advance. Africa is a continent with over 53 countries so you would need to have a good idea of the market restrictions in whichever country you decide to enter.
What do you think can be done to improve the fashion industry’s growth in Africa?
The government needs to recognise creativity/fashion and design etc as a real skill or talent and support the local industries. Africa is also in dire need of manufacturers and factories that create and supply fashion on the continent.
What is your piece of advice for any creative looking to break into the fashion industry in Africa?
Know the market you’re entering, do your research and most importantly, Africa is a diverse continent, spend some time there and learn from the locals before you embark on the market entry.