New African e-commerce platform Kisua to launch next month

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Set to go live on October 3, the site will mix a distinctive e-commerce offer with editorial content which explores contemporary African culture, music and arts. 

The idea for the site first came up when CEO Samuel Mensah was thinking about Africa’s strong tradition of producing and gifting fabrics, but its small number of established fashion brands: “I started to wonder why somebody wasn’t making African garments for consumption in African and global markets,” he told WWD.

Around a third of the pieces sold on Kisua will be produced in Africa; “30 percent is actually a great starting point,” Mensah told WWD. “Our target is to double that in the next six months; we intend to have the majority of our production happening on the African continent.”

Shipping from UK and US warehouses to ensure speedy delivery, the launch collection features 70 pieces, from 10 different designers. Prices will range from $60 for a top up to around $300 for a coat. 

Danica Lepen who was previously a designer at upmarket South African womenswear label Marion & Lindie is taking the reins as creative director while British designer Ozwald Boateng (famed for his London menswear lines as well as his stint at Givenchy) has been appointed as the chair of the board of advisers.

For now you can check out the Kisua tumblr for a range of their visual references as well as some sneak peeks of the collection.

Edun, launched by U2’s Bono and his wife Ali Hewson in 2005 is another major player in the emerging African luxury market. Aiming to raise the profile of Africa through trade and sustainable development, Edun now produce around 40 percent of their collections on the continent, and the brand has recently worked with Italian denim label Diesel on a collaborative collection as well as the Studio Africa cultural project.


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