Made in Nigeria: Let's Talk Issues and Concerns

Princess Audu in a made in Nigeria ankara dress
Made in Nigeria ankara dress
Made in Nigeri ankara dress

One of my biggest issues with shopping from Made in Nigeria brands is the overall finishing and look of items. It's either loose threads are hanging out, the zip is of poor quality or items are not sewn straight or even weaved properly. I recently raised the issue of finishing of items as well as the quality of zips and the price of items and it was both interesting and eye-opening to read some of the responses.

 In the past, I've had some designers talk about the struggles they face with designing in Nigeria, one of which is keeping prices affordable especially with the high cost of production and limited access to raw materials. I must agree after my experience shopping for fabrics, that the cost of production is indeed high as most raw materials are imported from China. And the present dollar-naira rate is not helping things at all.  Which makes me wonder, "what's the way forward?" How can brands keep prices affordable while still making a profit and ensuring good quality? Perhaps we'll talk about this a lit more as we go on in this series. 

Moving on, we can't possibly talk about Made in Nigeria fashion brands without featuring several Ankara pieces and today it's all about the Ankara blazer dress that we didn't know we needed! This piece is a mix between a blazer, a dress, jacket and kimono depending on how it's styled. I mean talk about the versatility of a piece!

Just in case you're new to the blog or out of the loop, I recently embarked on a series where I'll be styling strictly Nigerian brand's and sharing my thoughts on them for the next couple of week. Follow my hashtag on Instagram #madeinnigeriabyprincessaudu to stay in the loop! Catch the first post here if you missed it.

Today's brand spotlight is on Fhibbs Signature who is no stranger on the blog as I previously styled a dress from them here. Today, I'm wearing a blazer dress paired over a little black dress. One thing I must commend this brand for is the overall finishing of clothes which makes them stand out for the right reasons. 

Photography by Blessing Audu

My thoughts on the brand?

Based on my two outfits from Fhibbs Signature , I must say the finishing of the clothes is always professionally done. 
About the Item
This blazer dress was actually a custom order from the brand. The initial design was a little shorter but I asked for it to be made longer to offer more modesty. The sleeves and fabric are my favorite thing about this piece. By the way, the brand offers custom-made designs, alterations, and various fabric selections. Plus they deliver Worldwide! 
While I love this Ankara jacket/blazer dress, it may be a bit bigger than expected. I love my oversize clothes but I'm honestly contemplating if I should take in a few inches. Also, I wish the sash used to tie the dress together was a bit longer so I could knot or tie properly. I will say the brand could use some work on its branding as it relates to product packaging.
This brand is on the high side of affordable with items retailing at about 12,000 Naira ($40) on average. But based on my shopping experience with them both times, I say it's worth it. 

Dress: Fhibbs Signature || Shoes: Zara|| LBD: Virtue Clothier 

How would you have styled this ankara jacket differently? What have been some of your concerns shopping from Nigerian brands in the past? Let's keep the conversation going!

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  1. Wow. I love this post and I can totally relate. In my case, I'd style this pretty jacket with a tee and jeans because I'm not a dress person (smiles). Also, this post just gave me an inspo on what to use my ankara fabric to sew! Thanks Princess 😊😊

    1. Yay, I'm glad you got some inspiration Bello. Perhaps I'll restyle it with a tee and jeans just for a more relaxed fit and vibe though jeans is not really my thing. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Very cool post....I love the print and style of the blazer dress.
    Like you said the finishing of the pieces is one of the issues and for me most importantly is that some brands do not accept returns if something goes wrong. makes it a bit difficult to shop with them sometimes.

    But overall I think the ankara ready to wear brands are not doing badly considering the hostile business environment in terms of cost and manpower (tailors are something else LOL)

    1. Thank you girl.
      I find the no-return policy frustrating too especially with this online shopping but I do understand where a lot of them are coming from especially speaking as someone who ran a business for a while in Nigeria. Seeing as most buys are impulse and made out of emotions most people might take advantage of it and make silly excuses to return also shipping aint cheap. I guess this is what discourages most people from shopping online in Nigeria.

      I think they're doing okay too, I really wonder how they manage in such environment so kudos to them.

  3. That jacket is Fashion Week ready! I think while some Nigerian brands may be overpriced, the cost of production is definitely high too. If the overall finished product is worth it, it would be a good investment. I mean, we can buy Zara pieces for a higher price and it's because of the branding, some of our own people have better produced pieces too. It's a two way thing and the economy is not helping.

    1. Oh I did't think about fashion week with this but now that you mention it, I actually see it! It's definitely a look that I might just wear. At the end of the day it all boils down to the value for money. One thing I've noticed is that while people like cheap stuff, they actually don't mind a little extra coins if they know that quality if guaranteed. And that's where a lot of our designers get it wrong. Thanks for stopping buy Wumi and also for contributing to this discussion.

  4. Nice outfit combo, but for 12k, I think the jacket on the high side, but as a business, I'm sure they know why they put it at that price.

  5. My first time here though thnks guys for the compliment as regards the wrap dress . I would love to state some facts about pricing n production alot goes into the price of a particular outfit

    1.the quality of fabric used

    2.the cost of materials used FOR detailed finishing including running your gen set .


    4.your profit

    5.atleast everyone knows how much ankara goes for n how much an average tailor collects from you to make dem shoot which includes ,MUA ,PHOTOGRAPHER ,HAIRSTYLIST,MODELS,REFRESHMENT

    you still run your gen set when there is power failure

    All these n many more to be honest alot of designers selling @5k n 8k r working based on turn overs which sincerely aint helping if you are not selling a 1000 pcs a month .