If you have landed on this page, chances are that have an interest in fashion, and are looking for the best way to become a fashion designer in Nigeria.
Fashion designing is an amazing career that you can chase in Nigeria and become very successful if you have the right information at your disposal.
Fashion designing is an integral aspect of the fashion business in Nigeria, and with the country’s teeming population, it is very easy to make a good living as a fashion designer in Nigeria.
In this post, I’d be sharing actionable insights on how anybody can become a successful fashion designer in Nigeria. To help create value for this post, I interviewed successful fashion designers who are already doing successful businesses in Nigeria. At the end of this post, you should have a clear-cut idea of how you can become a successful fashion designer in Nigeria.
However, before we proceed, I’d like to define who a fashion designer is. This is because many people in Nigeria make the mistake of confusing tailoring and fashion designing. While they are both in the fashion industry, fashion design is distinctively different from tailoring.
Who Is A Fashion Designer?
Fashion designers are creative people who create designs for clothing items as well as other fashion accessories. They are creatives who use their creativity and intuition to create outstanding fashion items and accessories for their clients and organisations.
Typically in Nigeria, fashion designers are able to design and sew clothes for their clients. In other climes, fashion designers typically stick to designing fashion styles while leaving the sewing aspect to tailors and other professionals, but in Nigeria, it is often more profitable as a young fashion designer to design and sew the clothes to scale your business faster.
How To Become A Fashion Designer In Nigeria
Below are the steps you can take to become a successful fashion designer in Nigeria:
Know Your Why
It is important that you understand your “why” if you are looking to become a successful fashion designer. To do this successfully, you need to take the bird-eye view to understand the problems that abound in the fashion design industry, then plan to create a solution for it.
Are there gaps in the number of fashion items that are available for plus-sized women? Is there a dearth in the number of fashion accessories available for taller men and you want to fill that gap? Understand your “why” and go about achieving it meticulously.
Learn Fashion Designing
The first step towards becoming a successful fashion designer in Nigeria is by learning the trade itself. In more developed nations, there are options to learn fashion designing in Universities and Colleges, but in Nigeria, you need to go through the informal sector. So, what options are there when you want to learn fashion designing in Nigeria?
Fashion Design Schools
There are a number of fashion schools that you can attend in Nigeria to become a fashion designer. Most of these fashion schools typically have different courses, programs, and syllabus that will take you through the whole process of learning fashion designing and sewing. It is advantageous to attend a fashion design school because they are typically in touch with current practices and standard operating procedures in the fashion design industry.
However, fashion schools are typically expensive for the average Nigerian. Their fees range anywhere from 150,000 Naira to as much as over 1 million Naira. Therefore, if you are strapped for cash, fashion design schools may not be the best option for you. But if you can afford it, here are some of the top fashion design schools in Nigeria:
- Celebrity’s Fashion Academy
- OSC College of Fashion
- Fashion and Art Academy Read more:
- Nobel Afrik Fashion Training
- Addurrah Creations
- Valisimo Fashion School
- KG School of Fashion in Lagos
- Cheryl Cold Fashion School
- Ginani Fashion School
Learn Fashion Through Fashion Apprenticeships
Another amazing way you can learn fashion design in Nigeria is by becoming an apprentice for fashion designers who are already practicing. Nigeria, like other African countries, allows for apprenticeships especially for artisans and people who are looking to learn handiwork. It is a cheaper and more realistic way for you to become a fashion designer in Nigeria.
To learn fashion design through the apprenticeship route, what you need to do is to approach a fashion designer in your community and indicate your interest in learning under them. Typically, they have some requirements for apprentices who want to learn under them. These requirements are usually fees that most people can afford, so it should be pretty straightforward to sign up.
It is important to state that when you are negotiating your apprenticeship contract, you should make sure that both parties understand when you are graduating. This is to avoid any clash when you are ready to graduate and set up your own outfit.
Online Fashion Schools
Online fashion schools are fast becoming a viable alternative for intending fashion designers to learn their trade. Although a little less personal than the other two options mentioned above, online fashion schools typically give you the freedom to learn what you want at your own pace. Typically, online fashion schools offer short courses in various focus areas of fashion design including sketching, colour, fabric, prints, and patterns, etc.
Research The Market
Now that you have learned the trade of fashion designing, you must move forward to establishing your own fashion house. However, before you go ahead and start your own fashion outfit, you might want to take your time to research the market properly before delving in.
The fashion industry is a very competitive industry, so you want to make sure that you are entering into the industry with a unique perspective. Do you want to run a bespoke fashion outfit? Are you looking to focus on streetwear? Do you want o focus on other fashion accessories? Make sure that you fully understand the market, and the people you want to serve. Also, make sure that you research where you want to situate your business because the location of your business often affects the success of your business.
Create A Business Plan
To succeed as a fashion designer in Nigeria, you need to create a business plan for your fashion business. Think of a business plan as a map between two points, one point being where you currently are and the other where you want to go. As with many maps, there is more than one route between two destinations.
Business plans used to be lengthy 30-page documents (and maybe there is still a use for those types of documents) but not many people can go through a 30-page document. There are easier techniques to achieve the same objectives.
At a high level, the business can be assessed through a tool called the business model canvas. Your BMC looks at the model of your business, its key assumptions, and key stakeholders, and how you aim to deliver value to the customer.
You could also have a business plan that only looks at the business through numbers only. While not a complete plan, it allows you to dive in and create a working plan that can hold you accountable through the numbers that drive your business.
The more complete business plan format takes everything about your business into account.
It looks at your sales assumption and figures, all your expenses, direct selling expenses and other overheads, your human resource plan, hiring timelines and budgets, your marketing plan and budget, your operational plan and overall business strategy, your management team, and funding plan.
Use our guide here to create your fashion design business plan in a few easy steps
Build Your Portfolio
One integral thing you need to do on your journey to becoming a fashion designer in Nigeria is building your portfolio. As you start out, many people will not know your brand and understandably, they may be skeptical about your competency. But one quick way to make them trust your business is by showing them your portfolio.
Your portfolio is a showcase of previous jobs that you have done for previous clients. And as someone who is just starting out, you might find that it’s difficult to build a portfolio because people don’t trust you yet. To circumvent this, you might have to create a few designs free of charge for family and friends to build your portfolio.
Promote Your Business
If you want to become a successful fashion designer in Nigeria, you have to look for a way to put your business in the faces of people who are looking to patronise businesses like yours. The only way to achieve that is by promoting your fashion design businesses rigorously.
As a new fashion designer who has just established a fashion outfit, the goal is to make sure that as many people as possible in your target audience get to hear about your business. To achieve that, you need to employ different promotional tactics including the following:
Take Advantage Of Social Media
It’s increasingly becoming impossible to grow your sales and customer base without a social media presence. Today’s businesses need to be savvy on social media because that’s where their customers are. A strong social media presence is one of the cheap ways to promote your business as an entrepreneur.
Own A Website And Maximise It
Owning and maximising a website is one of the cheap ways to promote your business as a fashion designer. A website helps you establish credibility as a business. Even if you’re not selling your fashion items, the online space is the first place prospective customers will check you out. So, owning a website is one of the cheap ways to promote your fashion business.
The most basic and important form of marketing is word-of-mouth marketing. It’s one of the cheap ways to promote your fashion design business. Referrals are a form of word-of-mouth marketing and bring in new, likely to be loyal customers. These types of customers are the best that a company can have, as they are 3X more likely to buy your product or service. Referrals are a powerful selling tool.
To become a successful fashion designer in Nigeria, you need to make sure that you are satisfying your customers at a high level. That way, your customers will become repeat buyers, and even become brand ambassadors by referring even more people to you.
Consider Going Virtual
The mistake that many young Nigerian fashion designers make is that they think that they must own a store. This could not be farther from the truth! Thanks to the explosion of the web and increased online visibility with social media, new fashion designers can start their business from the comfort of their homes!
All you need to start is to have access to social media. With access to the internet, you can create outfits from the comfort of your home and promote them on social media channels.
It is often a difficult journey when trying to become a fashion designer in Nigeria. With the steps outlined in this post, anybody can successfully navigate that journey successfully.
Did you find value in this post? Let me know in the comments section. And if you have any question about social media, ask me in the comments section and I will do my best to answer you.
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