The fashion industry in Ghana is very big and competitive. You need to work hard to get to the top and even harder to stay there. We have seen very popular brands like Mkogh and Pkog in the past that made huge impacts across the country and beyond. There are many more fashion brands in the country and here’s a spectacular one you’d love to hear about, and wear.
How it begun
The inspiration for his fashion business stems from his days as a student of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. While on the fashion-craze campus, Nana Kyei Abankwah created eye-catching designs on his T-shirts, which immediately caught the attention of fellow students who found themselves in sight. He was often approached by student groups and individual students to create designs for them so they can also stand out and look great. He complied in most cases, creating beautifully youthful designs which kept them coming and coming. He had not commercialized his passion at the time. Nana Kyei was a geological engineering student, admitting his weakness in the field of business, but also took steps to educate himself about business and entrepreneurship.
Wear Nation is an urban clothing line started by Nana Kyei Abankwah 18months ago from his base in Tamale, in Northern Ghana, almost two years after his graduation. He started the business with a small capital of GHc500 and has since managed it into a sizeable business with customers from all over the country. He creates designs, and with the help of his four employees, transfers his artistic glamour on T-shirts by cutting and sewing or printing. His designs are ingrained in a pan-African sense of fashion while maintaining an urban touch.
Growing into a household brand
The small business has grown into a fashion powerhouse with customers all over the country. A greater number of its customers are in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi, but Wear Nation has had to quickly respond to demand in other parts of the country by expanding, establishing distribution agents in Sunyani, Bolga and Wa as well. The traditional urban clothes can be shipped to your doorstep within 2 to 5 days. You could receive your order within the same day depending on your location.
The trendy and durable casual wear is made from traditional African fabrics such as kente and fugu on high quality T-shirts. The finishing is exquisite and will leave you buying more and recommending it to your friends and family. This has been the fuel for his fast growth. Nana Kyei believes in giving customers good products, no matter the kind of product you’re offering. His focus is on quality and style.
Distribution and marketing
Wholesalers from different parts of the country contact him often for orders, directly or through his agents. He also has a website where anyone can visit to view available shirts before placing an order. He has a facebook page and an instagram page to augment his marketing efforts.
Challenges and the future
Like all other businesses in Ghana and elsewhere, Wear Nation has its challenges. Misuse of his images by some people on social media, growing overheads, and replication of his designs by other fashion businesses are some of its challenges. However, these have not been able to pin down the business in the past, and he does not see them pinning it down in the future, keeping a close eye on them and intelligently finding solutions to them as they arise. “Being original” is what has kept him in business this far.
His dream is to see every African wear his product, at least once every year. He plans to work towards this assiduously, day after day, believing that little steps would gradually get him to this vision, and hopefully beyond it.
He designs for the youth and the young-at-heart. These are his primary target, but since starting the business, he has realized that everyone is interested in his clothes. And you should check out his trendy and traditional urban tops.