‘In­vestors need to un­der­stand the heart of a brand’

Business Traveller (Middle East) - - News -

Disu ad­vises in­vestors to have pa­tience, think long term, and be pre­pared to work with gov­ern­ments and pri­vate-sec­tor busi­nesses.“In­vestors should part­ner with play­ers who un­der­stand the en­tire value chain, from small­holder farm­ers to fash­ion de­sign­ers and re­tail­ers. Tra­di­tional fash­ion re­tail is still in its in­fancy in Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, so it’s prob­a­bly the tough­est mar­ket in the world. How­ever, this cre­ates an op­por­tu­nity for in­vestors.”

With African brands reach­ing global cat­walks, de­sign­ers be­lieve tex­tile and ap­parel sup­pli­ers need to es­tab­lish long-term part­ner­ships with buy­ers, and im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity. The hope is that na­tional gov­ern­ments will sup­port this by sub­si­dis­ing new equip­ment and train­ing, as well as in­creas­ing ac­cess to fi­nance for en­trepreneurs and start-ups.

Mean­while, Africa’s fash­ion in­dus­try con­tin­ues to de­velop apace.“For sure, Africa is the next big thing in fash­ion,” laughs Ndiouly. “I meet a lot of peo­ple in Europe who are so in­ter­ested in African fash­ion, be­cause the mar­ket here is so sat­u­rated, yet in Africa there’s noth­ing. Africa is the fu­ture.”

Above: Buuky House de­signs Right: Paco Ndiouly, the brand’s founder

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