By Philip Yatai
Kaduna – Mrs Blessing Achu, founder, 360 Creative Innovation Hub, Lagos, says Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is revolutionising fashion industry and urged fashion designers to use it or lose out.
Achu said this on the sidelines of a six weeks digital entrepreneurship training for women in Kaduna, organised by Digital African Woman (DAW) tagged: “DAW Business Innovative Training Programme”.
She said that ICT had broken barriers in fashion business and created huge digital opportunities for sustainability.
According to her, no fashion designer will succeed without utilising ICT for efficiency in designs, marketing, and the potential of attracting investors for growth and sustainability.
“Fashion is a long value chain, but we are so much into cutting and sewing and neglecting what makes the business sustainable and how to make money beyond ourselves.
“Most fashion designers depends on family and friends to give them clothes to sew with no idea of how to go beyond that to the larger global market, bridged by information technology.
“With technology, you will not depend on family and friends; you will know the people that appreciate your products and how to reach out to them to meet their needs.
“At the comfort of your house, technology will help you understand where your traffic comes from; helps you identify your customers, sample their opinion and decide how to serve them better,’’ she said.
Achu noted that with African Fashion being appreciated globally, fashion designers in Nigeria were increasingly getting international recognition.
She however said that there was no sustainability in fashion business in the country because local fashion designers could not go beyond family and friends to selling in stores and boutiques.
“This is not because we do not have creative people, but because we simply do not know how to maximise the potential of the entire value chain in fashion business.
“This is why only a few fashion lines in Africa will remain alive long after the designers are dead,’’ she said.
Achu said that 360 Creative Innovation Hub was established to change the narrative about fashion business in Nigeria.
“We are helping fashion designers to identify their key strength in fashion value chain, their growth plan, how to attract investors and how to know what they are good at and what to outsource.
“We are equally helping them on how to infuse technology to make the business sustainable; we help with website development, fashion blogging, digital marketing and styling among others,’’ she said.
She said that the 360 creative hub had recently organised a fashion acceleration programme for 20 participants, adding that 10 of them were participating in the DAW’s digital entrepreneurship training.
“We are collaborating with DAW to empower, support and grow businesses of female entrepreneurs, because we can do better when we collaborate; someone always knows better,’’