Over the years, African fashion has evolved, spanning across the globe, making statements on red carpets, runways and showrooms around the world. This advancement is made possible with the increasing popularity of fashion shows in major African cities powered by big brands, young ambitious designers, and technology of course.
Tech plays a significant role in our daily lives, touching every part of it, shaping society, and most importantly influencing the way we run businesses. When it comes to the business of fashion, technology has changed quite a lot; from research, cost-effective advertising, shopping, making payments, creating and following trends, tech has broadened things and made them more accessible through increased smartphone penetration.
Increased smartphone penetration has led to a more expedient means of communication which has also translated into increased sales for fashionpreneurs. And with the presence of smartphone brands like TECNO Mobile making smartphones affordable and accessible, fashionpreneurs are leveraging on this to start and scale their businesses on a low capital.
At the recently concluded Lagos Fashion and Design Week, TECNO Mobile earned quite a number of commendations for spearheading the tech segment of the Fashion Business Series. There, the brand’s Deputy Marketing Manager, Mr Attai Oguche, described the role of smartphones and mobile technology in driving businesses, particularly SMEs, as a key element for growth in our times.
Though the percentage of smartphone and Internet penetration in the continent is still in its infancy across certain markets, in countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, these numbers are quite significant, thereby helping to bolster the business of fashion in Africa.
Last year, Transsion Holdings, the parent company of TECNO Mobile shipped 79.91million mobile phones to Africa out of a total 215.33million phones shipped to the continent. Statistics show that 95.37million of the total phone shipment were smartphones. Interestingly, 9 million of those smartphones were sold by TECNO Mobile, meaning at least 1 in every 9 smartphone users in the continent used a TECNO smartphone last year.
With the brands, high-end devices ranging from the Phonepad 3 to its latest flagship, the Phantom 8, fashionpreneurs and other small business owners have successfully moved past the limitations of brick and mortar structures to pilot their businesses. These folks use apps to get their customers measurement, surf the Internet for trendy designs, buy fabric from anywhere in the world, make payments on-the-go, advertise to a wider market based on preferred demographics and even raise investments to grow their businesses.