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On African Designers and Online Shopping

Written by . Posted in Blog, Features.

Something that could fill the wide dearth between African designers and their customers is online shopping. With the commendable coverage and exposure African fashion has seen in the past couple of years, online shopping seems like the next big leap for African designers. A few countries like South Africa have fashion designers that are definitely forerunners in maximising the benefits of online shopping in Africa.

Online stores like myasho and fashion-conscience have done a fine job of bringing African and African inspired fashion a little closer to our door steps. Bless them and the burgeoning number of designers launching online stores. There’s a natural high we all get from walking through the shop doors straddling a dozen shopping bags and trying to look effortlessly chic while doing it. An all too familiar high. And online shopping doesn’t forestall the glory of good ol’ in-store shopping; it just makes things more accessible especially for people with busy schedules.

The possibilities are endless with African designers and online shopping. The most obvious one being accessibility! Not just for Africans but globally. African design will go beyond the shores of Africa to the farthest reaches of the universe. Oh my! (p.s. I am not a shopaholic) In anticipation, we pledge allegiance to the future of online shopping and African designers.

Whatever it is shopping online is a culture that should be embraced and here are some pointers for shopping online: know your correct sizes, buy only from sites with secure payment options and beware of cheap knock offs so someone doesn’t sell you short. How would you know? For one, those too good to be true prices in bright red banners plastered on the walls of your favourite sites are just that, too good to be true. Another thing, when your eye catches that marvellous dress, and sun-kissed angels start singing the ‘Halelujah’ chorus bathed in golden light, if you have enough money, buy it. Chances are the next time you visit the website, it will be gone!!!

What is hampering the growing culture of online shopping in Africa? Rather try on pieces before buying?! Or the idea of buying online just doesn’t do it for you? A lack of credit/debit card culture? Too many online scams and internet fraud? Or you just like good old fashioned shopping? What do African designers stand to gain/lose from online shopping?

-Andie Okon

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