Sunday, May 19, 2024

Rockstar Designers at Onalaja & Wanni Fuga Discuss ‘Strategies for Success in Dynamic Markets’ | WATCH

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Two (2) visionary girls who’re the attractive brains behind two (2) of Africa’s most in-demand international trend manufacturers joined calabargist Style to debate “Methods for Success in Dynamic Markets” on the third episode of #BNSCONVOS throughout the fifth version of calabargist Style Women’s Month.

In an insightful LIVE dialog moderated by Oluwadunsin Sanya a number one editor at calabargist, Kanyinsola Onalaja, the founder and lead designer on the Onalaja model and Toluwani Wabara, the proprietor and artistic director of Wanni Fuga shared examined and confirmed methods for achievement in at this time’s VUCA world from their perspective.

Hit the ▶ button beneath to look at the attention-grabbing session:

On switching careers and establishing Wanni Fuga, Toluwani mentioned:

It began with wanting a easy outfit for a day trip with mates and never with the ability to discover one. Then I began to observe my mum to the market who was within the trend enterprise at the moment. Whereas she did her personal factor I’d get lost to do my very own factor and get her tailors to carry my designs to life. Folks began noticing what I used to be sporting, which was how the model began.

On what impressed her trend journey and fashioned into Onalaja, Kanyinsola mentioned

My mum was additionally within the trend trade however not conventionally. She created materials for different designers and taught me how you can sew, how to attract, and all of the issues required for the inspiration so I may construct on it.

I additionally went down the standard route of going to trend faculty for undergrad and grasp research. I labored as an embroidery advisor within the trend trade for some time and similar to my mum, I created materials for different designers. I simply took the soar, to seek out the hole out there and discover items that spoke to me.

On sustaining originality whereas being modern in an ever-changing market whereas staying true to model identification and values, the ladies had this to say:

The model technique hasn’t modified, it’s simply being streamlined and centered and we’re being very intentional about the whole lot that we do with the enterprise module. We determined to go extra of a made-to-order strategy in order that the whole lot is tailor-made and custom-made to fulfill the wants of the consumer.

Group constructing is vital to me so it’s not nearly me, there’s a bigger image. So I place a excessive precedence on my clients. On innovation, I’m very versatile and adaptable to see what works and doesn’t, I’m additionally very huge on textiles and texture.

It’s in regards to the course of and constructing on the data I’ve. What can I do to make this cloth totally different? So for me, it’s taking the small and constructing on it with the data I’ve.

Kanyisola Onalaja


Innovation is vital if you wish to lead the market and innovation requires creativity and creativity requires data.

I’ve been in a position to establish this and so I carry it ahead with my staff, we have now a enterprise technique assembly; Wanni Fugai is not only me, it’s a bunch of people that have come collectively for the enterprise to be what it’s at this time. In these conferences, we assessment traits, develop prototypes, do a number of trial and error, we assessment what our rivals doing.

Innovation isn’t solely about designs as a trend creator, it will probably vary from something like your operational strategy, your customer support, and your advertising and marketing. Staying up to date on totally different areas of your corporation is vital. Early adaptation to traits is vital, you don’t wish to soar on one thing too late so that you don’t doubtlessly miss a chance.

Always, I attempt to attract my staff fundamental to our core values in order that in the whole lot this core values/mission assertion guides the staff and the enterprise as a complete.

— Toluwani Wabara

On various academic background and this has affected her strategy to entrepreneurship within the Nigerian trend trade, Toluwani mentioned:

I had no prior basis in trend so when it comes to trend data I’m working backwards. I’ve needed to study issues on the job and in addition take myself again to study. Studying will be laborious however I’m getting on with it fantastic, I needed to take varied programs and I’m presently nonetheless studying too.

On balancing leaping on traits and nonetheless creating timeless items

It goes again to your mission assertion and ethos. What’s it that your model represents? When you establish that, it’s simpler to understand that not each development applies to your model and filter by way of it.

Kanyinsola Onalaja

Q: There are parts of African arts and custom in your design, how does this contribute to the illustration of African trend on the worldwide stage?

I’m half Yoruba and half Edo and so most of my inspiration comes from each tribes. Whether or not it’s with the hand beading the textures or the colors, I simply like to signify the place I’m from.

What makes Africa superb is that there are such a lot of totally different variations of Africa and it’s a chance to point out how various we’re and the way we are able to cater to numerous silhouettes and demographics however nonetheless be African.

Kanyinsola Onalaja

Q: Will you say that worldwide recognition and a focus have opened up alternatives for you and different African designers?

I believe so, there are extra alternatives now to work together with patrons, and showrooms and simply put ourselves on the market and with social media there’s a dynamic manner with what we’re doing.

Kanyinsola Onalaja


All of it simply comes all the way down to worldwide publicity. Seeing extra development, interacting with extra clients and opening our companies as much as new markets. It additionally opens the model up for suggestions, good or dangerous. These feedbacks are considered when growing new merchandise for the model.

— Toluwani Wabara

Q: Has worldwide publicity influenced your strategy to model visibility and model development? 

As a lot because the model is rising and changing into extra seen, the core factor is that we’re catering to our clients and creating very particular items for them. We determined to do made-to-order the place our clients can request for the attire to be created for particular issues. We additionally create these items for each different occasion. Greater than the model visibility, the group issues.

Kanyinsola Onalaja


You should be ready for the suggestions that this visibility offers you. Additionally, monitor the insights as a result of it offers you a number of details about the place these clients are coming from.

— Toluwani Wabara

When requested what classes they’ve learnt from interacting with high-profile purchasers, the ladies had this to say

Make your high quality communicate for you, concentrate on making your merchandise the very best model they are often, and be open to suggestions. It’s actually in regards to the high quality of your work.

Kanyinsola Onalaja


Whether or not it’s hiring extra fingers or working extra time since you wish to maintain and retain these clients. Suggestions issues too since you need these clients to maintain patronising you

— Toluwani Wabara

Q: What development alternatives did you seize? How can budding trend entrepreneurs establish these alternatives?

It’s important to have a robust narrative and identification to have the ability to cross borders. Your group even have to know what this identification is. You additionally should put your self on the market extra

Kanyinsola Onalaja


We concentrate on watching traits. My staff scan to see what’s new and trending and this retains me knowledgeable throughout the product improvement part and helps with advertising and marketing methods each domestically and internationally. We generally have to modify our focus once we see it mandatory, it’s all depending on client behaviour.

— Toluwani Wabara

Q: How do you strategy mentorship and collaboration throughout the trade?

Understanding that not the whole lot is a contest and you’ll collaborate in several methods. It’s additionally good to haven’t only a group of consumers however a group of creatives, designers and individuals who have the identical imaginative and prescient as you

Kanyinsola Onalaja


Mentorship and collaboration are vital and the way forward for collaboration between feminine entrepreneurs is wanting very promising as girls at this time proceed to interrupt down obstacles. Collaboration is vital as a result of it means that you can share data, and expertise and pull one another’s experience.

The onus is on you as a model proprietor to succeed in out to whoever you wish to collaborate with. Do your analysis in regards to the model and particular person, attain out to them and provides them a proposal that they’ll’t resist.

— Toluwani Wabara

There is no such thing as a doubt that these girls poured from the large wealth of data they’ve accrued over time constructing their spectacular companies.

Need to watch the session now? Hit the ▶ button beneath:

Be a part of us this Saturday at 5PM WAT on @calabargiststyle‘s Instagram LIVE for the subsequent episode of #BNSCONVOS throughout the fifth version of our Women’s Month celebration.

See You There!

On the lookout for extra African trend and life-style updates? Go to now!

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