While African fashion has gone global, many young African designers struggle to get their businesses off the ground. Minne Atairu, the founder of forthcoming shopping site Verse 20 hopes to change that.
“Africa has a breadth of emerging fashion designers who offer an alternative to mainstream fashion, and their work is a treasure worth supporting. Yet, they struggle with low income, the hurdles of creating a collection when faced with shortage of electricity, materials and access to facilities,” says Atairu.
Atairu saw the challenges that African fashion designers face firsthand, after working alongside designers and media agencies in Nigeria. She decided to create Verse 20, an online shopping destination for African fashion that promises users a unique experience.
Verse 20 is a curated series of themed online pop-up shops. The themes and products change frequently, offering shoppers a new and innovative experience and giving designers the chance to experiment with their offerings.
“VERSE 20 provides them with a digital space to launch, and support their careers by providing an easily accessible network and retailing platform,” Atairu explains. “This will allow them bypass middlemen and systems that make it difficult for them to grow financially.”
Verse 20 is also created with sustainability in mind. Atairu also selects designers who are forward-thinking and innovative, while celebrating their culture.
“We are most interested in designers with a story, rooted in African traditions, and who manage to combine this heritage with contemporary ideas.”
Verse 20 is coming soon, for updates visit Verse20.com.