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Brands We Love: Lady Biba

Nigeria isn’t in want of indigenous fashion brands. From the small time tailor who slaps on cheap tags to their wares, to the big celebrity designers creating bespoke dresses for the runways, the industry is as lively as it’s ever been. Not surprisingly, it’s a fragmented market; players within the space find it a tough ask to break beyond local prominence.

Lady Biba is one of a number of contemporary women’s fashion labels that manage to attract a wide following from across the country. Their range of products isn’t any different from what you’ll find at the typical ladies’ wear store- dresses, tops, skirts and trousers. But it’s their style and reach that gives them an edge over your average designer.

Lady Biba is big on eye-catching designs and a strong online presence- a combination that seems constant with today’s high flying fashion enterprises. When mould-breaking, trend-setting wears like theirs gets displayed on a global platform such as the web, there’s a chance it’ll get a bit more well-known.

Bisola Adeniyi launched the Lady Biba label in 2013. But she says her love for thinking up and creating new garments predates the founding of the business. While it wasn’t always her intention to become a fashion entrepreneur, things eventually turned in that direction after she completed her university education. Starting with a single sewing machine and handling web presence on her own, she’s grown the business to a mini factory with a presence at top trade fairs.

The assortment of apparels available at Lady Biba can be browsed on its website. Visitors will find much of the ladies fashion spectrum represented there- flowing dresses, jumpsuits, charmane wraps, formal wear and things for special occasions. The online showcase is a mix of the familiar and the unconventional, a spread of alternatives that cater to multiple tastes.

The element of choice is certainly one of Laby Biba’s strong points. Customers can send in their measurements while placing an order on the site, so that their clothes get tailor made to fit them perfectly. Prices aren’t simply skewed to the higher end either; there’s always something for fashion lovers, including the not too well off.

As for deliveries, they’re made to locations across Lagos. Shipping to other parts of the country can also be organized; customers should just be sure to keep Lady Biba in the loop when they make their arrangements.

There’s a cause conscious aspect to the Lady Biba brand as well. Their messaging emphasizes two things in particular: a preference for local content, and a focus on empowering women. The former is being achieved by employing local tailors who sew from locally made fabric when they’re available. The company also has an overwhelmingly female workforce, and markets its brand in language that portrays women as powerful (it calls its customers ‘lady bosses’).

The Lady Biba site says the label’s designs are inspired by the vibrancy, energy and persistence of the Nigerian people. This bright, optimistic outlook may have kept their business in the sights of fashion officionadoes and regular people alike. It’s the sort of extra touch we always love to get from a brand.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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