Have you ever had someone say, “I bet you are good at such and such!” that’s related to your career? For instance, I am perhaps the world’s worst Scrabble player, but my baffled friends respond, “But words are your thing!” Since my last failed game in 2012, I have refused to play.
This happens with tastes too, like if you are a foodie, people assume you can cook. If you always look like you’re walking down a runway, folks think you should get into fashion design. Today, give yourself permission to not have to be an expert at everything. In other words, throw away the Scrabble board.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 40.2 Percent
I remember when I first watched Project Runway. I couldn’t believe Michael Kors wore a simple black outfit every. single. episode! Wouldn’t a designer be interested in wearing a variety of cool outfits? But like I said before, maybe we shouldn’t make such assumptions.
When it comes to the business of fashion, there are a few assumptions many of us make. And it turns out, our suspicions aren’t always right. For instance, if I asked you whether there are more men or women involved in designing the fashions we love, would you guess women? I would. After all, most of us are super fashionable, and how could male designers have the same understanding of what women require in attire?
Apparently, I made another incorrect assumption. In fact, one fashion-focused website conducted a survey of 371 designers helming 313 brands during the course of four fashion weeks in 2016, and discovered that only 40.2 percent of those fashion designers are women.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Kelechi Anyadiegwu, Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Zuvaa
While Michael Kors may prefer a dull wardrobe, Kelechi Anyadiegwu is telling a very different fashion story. This vibrant entrepreneur has a real passion for fashion, and wants to give every woman the opportunity to look modern and trendy, with a beautiful, African-inspired twist.
Kelechi’s company is called Zuvaa and provides shoppers a place to purchase unique clothing from designers from throughout the world. Kelechi has always loved African textiles, beautiful and creatively patterned fabrics that helped her feel connected to her Nigerian heritage. But such spirited textiles weren’t always easy to find. So, like a true fashion entrepreneur, she created her own marketplace featuring African fashion.
Kelechi’s mission with Zuvaa is to empower designers worldwide with the tools to enter a global market, as well as to make women throughout the world feel bold and beautiful in vibrant and eccentric African-inspired designs. From dresses and skirts to jackets, jumpsuits, date-night outfits and even vintage African wear, Zuvaa offers a dazzling array of striking apparel.
In order for their designs to be featured on Zuvaa, designers must send in samples before being added to the site so Kelechi and her team can examine the true characteristics and quality of the pieces. Once approved, each vendor has complete control over the pricing and posted images of their products. This creates an atmosphere that gives vendors an unparalleled customer base while also ensuring they remain true to themselves. What’s also special about Zuvaa is the cut and design of the pieces. Each item creates a wonderfully flattering silhouette, which will absolutely solicit many a compliment.
Clearly, women can’t get enough of Zuvaa’s bold prints. As evidence of the company’s success, one needs only to note Zuvaa’s amazing growth. Kelechi started the company with just $500, and within two years, grew the marketplace into a thriving $2 million business.
Kelechi’s company name was inspired by a word in the Shona language of Zimbabwe meaning sunshine. It’s an apt name for the colorful and intricately patterned products she sells. Thanks, Kelechi, for bringing a bold ray of sunshine into the world of fashion.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Kelechi Anyadiegwu would no doubt agree with African fashion designer Sandi Owusu, who said:
“Never try to fit in because we were all born to stand out.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.