A few days ago, Vogue published an article on a collaboration between Nigerian designer, Amaka Osakwe of Maki Oh and Carlifornia retailer, Sherri McMullen of McMullen Boutique. Amaka Osakwe had showcased her designs at the New York Fashion Week and Sherri McMullen was hooked. She told Vogue via an email that she “fell in love with the prints and interesting shapes.” The femininity and strength of the Maki Oh collection intrigued her. “There is something so feminine yet so strong about the collection,” and it made her wonder “‘Who is this designer? I haven’t seen anything in the market like this.’ I was intrigued. I see many collections each season, but hers stood out.”
An instant collaboration?
Unfortunately, the collaboration was not instant. It took more than a year before Sherri McMullen could reach out to the Lagos based designer. She returned the next season of the fashion week, but could not get in touch with Amaka because she had changed representation. With no way to reach the designer, she went to Instagram.
Maki Oh and the Intsa-collaboration
It reads like an Intstagram hashtag. After relentlessly going after the designer on Instagram, the two finally hooked up and decided on a collaboration. Amaka Osakwe is not new to collaboration, one of her pieces was worn by Amandla Steinberg in Beyonce’s Lemonade film and Michelle Obama and Lupita Nyong’O have all worn Maki Oh pieces as well.
However, the timing was just right for the designer. According to Vogue, “The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Osakwe, either. The Arts University Bournemouth graduate had been building on her collection for six years and had finally honed in on who her customer was. Pulling from her rich Nigerian culture and her experience as a black woman to imbue her line with a self-described “quiet confidence,” the label, which is completely inspired by Nigeria and Africa, reflects a more nuanced approach to exploring the African experience through design.”
Fashion without borders
Thanks to the internet, no one has to be limited b borders. Fashion designers and other business people can reach across countries and continents to form partnerships that will enhance their brands. We believe that this is the future of business in Africa.
Instagram is a fantastic platform for brands like Maki Oh because they have a strong visual appeal. But Instagram is not the only social media platform where you can push your brand. Get to know your target market and find out where they hangout. Then be active there.
We are really happy for Amaka Osakwe and proud of what she’s achieved in six years. We can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with in the next six years.