Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On the Upcoming Launch of Enrique Pierre Clothing

This press release came to me by way of fellow Africa blogger Frederic Tape. Of course, we already knew what a wonderful blogger he is, writing with such flair and originality. But as it turns out, he is also quite the business person, as well and is involved with a fashion design company here in the States (Virginia) called Stockpile of Southern Urbanity Enrique Pierre Clothing.

PRESS RELEASE
Stockpile of Southern Urbanity Enrique Pierre Clothing ( www.enriquepierre.com) is the new fashion concept that is set to land in the United States market. Enrique Pierre Clothing is the offspring of New entrants to the fashion industry Enrique Pascal & Pierre-Louis who fuse Southern comfy style with very avant-garde decorative designs.

EPC couples its fashion aptitude with affordable prices for its customers. ' The focus of our production is to attain quality on each piece of clothing, while maintaining low cost of production which translates into affordable pricing for our customers.' says Pierre
ECP's cofounder.

Prices range from 25 US Dollars to 50 US Dollars for the T-shirts which constitute the first collection of this effervescing clothing line.

'Colorful, vivid, gusto, and agreeable-such are the characteristics of the collection for this year. These are characteristics we share and want to incorporate in the collection' says Enrique ECP's main designer.

'The Collection will serve as a canvas to paint bits of stories in language that people can understand. We have a lot to share and the shirt collection will be a medium to express the colorful and wonderful scenes I see inside my mind' says Enrique Pascal.

The launch to the line will be during the summer 2007, starting with the women's collection.



The product lines will be targeted towards women who want refinement in simplicity. Additionally, the spokesperson for the company, Mr. Frederic Tape indicates that there is a good chance that some or most of their fabrics might be sourced from Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. Also it should be noted that he believes that, right now, the time is right for other urban designers to start seriously considering the African continent for fabrics. Mr. Tape stresses that whilst the fabric markets are still developing, both in finance and infrastructure, that the opportunities for urban designers may extend far beyond sourcing fabrics.

Also, we are working on setting up a phone interview with Mr. Tape which might focus on how such ventures could benefit fabric sourcing companies in West Africa...

7 comments:

branded said...

Great post. this got me thinking about the AGOA initiative that was mooted by the US government to support export business in Africa with apparells being some of the products. One thing got me wondering, Just yesterday as i was going home from the office, i visited this clothing superstore in Nairobi, they were selling internationally branded clothing items with made in Kenya tags. This is good, but my main concern was, why do we export our products only to rebuy them again at a higher market price?

Benin "Mwangi" said...

branded:

Yes, it does sort of have that feeling to it. Do you feel that it's a case of conspicuous consumption at work?

That is very interesting indeed that folks in Kenya are only buying the Kenyan tagged clothing after they see the international labels on them. I would hope that their was some other explainable market force at work...

kofi said...

I think that mentality goes back to many African people's mistrust of African-run businesses. While we are proud to see ourselves represented in business (through strategy, production etc.) we still put a lot more weight on businesses originating from abroad. Of course it's not just Africans who do this, but I find that Africans more so are quick to de-value a domestic business.

Some say that the de-valuation comes from having been disappointed by customer service, quality of products, and general lack of attention to business standards. But I know a lot of those areas are being addressed by many African businesses today. I myself have been trying to find the solution to this mentality for a long time. If foreigners can make good use of our resources, why can't we.

Good post.

Benin "Mwangi" said...

Kofi:

Nice points that you made. Though it may be true, that some mistrust is there, I think it is important to point out that the largest trading partners for most African nations are there next door neighbors. My point is that in the larger scheme of things what you are saying needs to happen may already be happening. Perhaps not on an extremely wide spread scale, but it is happening. On the raw goods being exported out and then brought back in as finished goods, after my earlier post on this something interesting occured to me.

And this might sound weird, but let me know what you think...This pattern was started during the colonial era and maybe it is somehow ingrained into the collective conciousness of these countries and they are just repeating some of the same steps that they stated some 300 to 400 years ago. Maybe I'm just rambling though...

kofi said...

There is definitely truth in your statement. The colonial mentality has a lot to do with it, and part of that - from the African business's perspective - is a tendency to not be competitive, especially when it comes to competing with foreign businesses. While there are many of us - ususally those raised/educated abroad - who don't feed into this way of doing business, I feel that the general mentality is just that - don't question foriegn businesses because they know better/more. But the tide has begun to change as more of us are raised/educated abroad and return home to build a life. Ghana's economic growth is a perfect example of that I think.

Benin "Mwangi" said...

kofi:
I can agree with your statement

"But the tide has begun to change as more of us are raised/educated abroad and return home to build a life. Ghana's economic growth is a perfect example of that I think."

But, i also think that Africa's homegrown entrepreneurs are playing a part too. In fact, this global "connectedness" by way of the Internet and mobile phones, I think is another major factor contributing to the new African renaissance.

Thanks for your entrepreneurial contributions as well.

Have you ever spoken with Frederic from Cote d'Ivoire? He is a blogger over at africaincorp on blogspot, and has a strong interest in fashion, as well.

Looking forward to more dialogue...

Kahindo Mateene said...

Hello,

Thanks for your blog on African entrpreneurship. I am Congolese and recently went back to DRC after a long hiatus. I cam back to the States with an idea of producing a clothing line at home and selling it in the U.S. market. I have come across some hurdles though in terms of sourcing material and equipment and also in exporting from DRC. If anyone has any ideas, it would greatly be appreciated. China was mentioned as a possible source, and I did see alot of Chinese in Kinshasa, I guess I just need to get in touch with some of these companies.

Its about time that the fashion of Africa and the talent gets the much needed International exposure that it deserves. That is my goal, as well as creating jobs that will be translated into empowerment.

PLease contact at kmate@hotmail.com

Thanks.

Kahindo

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