Wednesday, May 28, 2008

rant: kingston bangle + "african" print dresses

from freepeople

now on sale at free people for $28 a piece. that's right, folks! $28 A PIECE! okay, let's put this rant in perspective for you:

- if you visit an open market in lagos, this item WILL NOT cost you $28 (approx N 3,600) A PIECE. not even for all three.
- fine, so you can't get to an open market in lagos anytime soon but since e-commerce is still a foreign concept to the vast majority of nigerian business owners, free people (& others like them) can continue to charge $28 for this because, hello, who's going to stop them? where's the COMPETITION? why don't the artisans in mali who apparently handcrafted these bracelets have a website where they can sell their own merchandise directly to consumers?
- we understand there are underlying issues that can affect e-commerce but how can we bypass them and move forward? and why are these issues even there in the first place?!?!


BIG SIGH. if we had our way/the resources, we'd GLADLY be the middle man (i.e. the african saks, neiman marcus, etc.). and maybe we'll get there someday. that's how passionate we are about getting african fashion/african designers in the limelight. it's almost too simple for words: get a website or get left behind. get your brand/product in countries other than your own. no use hiding your work under a bushel! you know what? THAT'S IT. we're angry enough to want to do something about this and we just might. SOON.


also somewhat on this topic, tigerbites blogged about designer valentine leung a while ago and much to our chagrin, we found that one of her 'tribal' dresses (see below) retails for $360:

and from our findings, nieves lavi is also inspired by africa:

YAY for inspiration. but why should this dress set us back $363?

neither of the designers has done anything remarkable with the fabric or print so why is it okay to charge such ludicrous prices? this out of africa/tribal trend could've been an open door for african designers to showcase their work/talent. alas, few have made it to the mainstream...and while that isn't the hallmark of fine work, it certainly does help, doesn't it? both dresses are silly gimmicks in our humble opinion...but how smart of their respective designers to cash out while they can. the joys of e-commerce. again.

p.s. we're totally dusting off our sewing machines...


Fola said...

I am totally with you guys on this. Totally and absolutely. I've started something in this regard so I'll go ahead and shoot you guys an e-mail. We should work together.

Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Preach on Sista!!!

coco said...

The second dress REALLY isn't worth that much
You can find better things in Topshop

Shop Ikeyia said...

Love the Tribal Dress!

Yayemarie said...

j'aime bien dress numero simple yet wearable..i hope all is good in ur camp ..just wanted 2 say heyy:)
and u're rite why go elsewhere than ourselves since we have the ideas, the fabrics and the concept is ours...
are u done dusting of ur sewing machine?:)

shop liquorice said...

@ fola: thanks for your e-mail girl! you're fabulous! :)

@ anon: LOL, thanks :)

@ coco: YAY for topshop! to be honest we don't think the first dress is worth that much either.

@ shop ikeyia: we think they're just OK, lol. the idea of a tribal dress, however? FANTASTIC!

@ yayemarie: awww, you're so sweet! all's well, thanks :) my sewing machine is SO getting dusted! promise :) thanks for dropping by!