Bain & Company reported that the global luxury goods industry is worth more than $1.48 Trillion (£1.07 Trillion / €1.2 Trillion). The market for personal luxury goods — the “core of the core” — reached a record high of $323M (£233M / €262M) in 2017, and the market is expected to grow by up to 5% annually over the next three years. European top-luxury brands still dominate the industry with perhaps Coach and Michael Kors from the USA mopping up the remaining mass market. This report concludes a mini-series about African Luxury Brands on AlphaLuxe.
Tiffany Amber Nigeria
Tiffany Amber is almost 20 years old as a fashion and lifestyle brand with an African attitude and international recognition. Formed in November 1998, Tiffany Amber revolutionised the Nigerian fashion industry in the ready-to-wear market. Now, a leader in the African fashion world, with the same founder designer, that allows for a consistent brand aesthetic or style vision so important for a luxury lifestyle brand to achieve global reach.
One of those principles is empowerment of artisans from all over the continent. All Tiffany Amber products are made in Nigeria by the most skilled craftsmen that Africa has to offer.
The brand has won numerous accolades over the years including Designer of the Year at the Inaugural African Fashion Week (AFI) in 2009 and Fashion Brand of the Year at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in 2012, and it’s collections have been seen in some of the World’s most prestigious cities including New York, London, Milan and Paris.
There were rave reviews in some of the World’s biggest fashion titles with features on CNN, in Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue and Vanity Fair, for example.
Tiffany Amber Culture
‘Tiffany Amber Culture’ was launched in 2015 as an extension of the Tiffany Amber brand, using the rich aesthetics of African culture, with traditional silhousettes that have a modern twist and are a ‘print heaven’.
Tiffany Amber brand introduced a diffusion line called ‘TAN by Tiffany Amber’ in 2009 and dipped into the luxury home-ware market in 2014 with ‘TA Living’, a line using African culture infused into fine living. A diffusion line (or bridge line) is a secondary line of product that retails at lower prices.
Conversely, there is also a Couture line called ‘Folake Folarin’.
Each line in distinctive but represents the designer’s iconic style.
Designer Folake Folarin-Coker
Daughter of Chief Bode Akindele, Folake Folarin-Coker was born in Lagos but spent most of her childhood in Europe. Schooled in Switzerland, England and Scotland, she qualified as a lawyer with a Masters degree in Petroleum Law and returned to Nigeria in 1998 to launch the label Tiffany Amber.
Her love for the world of fashion could not be repressed but it took a decade to make her debut at Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The collection received such rave reviews that she was invited to showcase for the second time in 2009, making her the first African-based designer to showcase for two consecutive shows at the New York Fashion Week.
The multi-award winning designer received the Designer of the Year at the inaugural African Fashion Week (AFI) in 2009 in Johannesburg. In 2012, Franca Sozzani, Editor of Vogue Italia, met with Folake on her visit to Lagos, and was so impressed with the brand, she invited Folake to be a part of the Fashion for Development Project.
In 2013, Folake became the first African Fashion Designer to make the Forbes Women Power List. Also in 2013, the designer was awarded the Enterprise Award by the Women Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE).
Folake was married to Folorunsho “Folly” Coker, son of Lagos chief Folarin Coker, who has now remarried. He is a Nigerian businessman, former managing director of the number plate production authority of the State of Lagos, and now a business adviser to the Governor of Lagos.
Tiffany Amber must be one of the oldest established luxury brands out of Africa. In an Age of Content and consumers that consume luxury content before consuming the luxury goods, digital channels and social media are the future.
African entrepreneurs, designers and creators are beginning to leverage the new access to international markets, whether by e-commerce or international travel or social shopping. They’re beginning to gain a real presence and awareness in global market space.
African Luxury Brands on AlphaLuxe:
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).