Formalwear handmade by tailors across Africa

MIA collaborates with tailors in Africa to deliver unique formalwear. Shop their pieces online at mialdn.com.

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Hey @ajiayorinde, how does MIA LDN's design process work and what's on the horizon for 2018?
Hi @Abadesi, so the design process is intended to be collaborative. On the 'ready-to-wear' side there is little customer involvement. Here, either I will lead the design process myself and the tailor will bring the design to life or the tailor may make suggestions themselves. On the 'bespoke' side, both myself and the tailor will collaborate with the customer/client to bring a design to life that the customer/client has in mind, or we will make suggestions ourselves. We may also pitch concepts to customers/clients who are open-minded and simply wish to 'stand out', based on drawings and blueprints that we have prepared ourselves and keep ready for such occasions. In 2018, we are expecting more of the same. The main purpose of our ready-to-wear collections is to build the strength of the brand and to cater for those that wish to buy into the brand but are not yet at a stage at which they would consider 'made-to-measure'. Eventually, we would like to offer bespoke clothing exclusively, which will tie in more smoothly with the 'tech' side of the business, through which we are building an app aimed at connecting brands and businesses with the network of creatives that we are curating from across the African continent. The idea is that we will be able to connect customers with our tailors, whilst connecting brands and businesses with our network of creatives. In the meantime, whilst we are still offering ready-to-wear, having stocked in a few pop-up stores, we would like to stock our clothing as a concession in a larger store in order to really test the market.
What’s the value proposition?
Hi @eison - on the business side, it is that all of our products are handmade in Africa. By collaborating with these tailors we are helping to provide them with extra trade and business. These tailors are doing well in their respective markets and by producing a collective of these highly skilled tailors, we are expanding their market and are also helping to present Africa in a different light. We take this one step further on the 'creatives' side - by shining the spotlight on these people on the ground, we are positioning ourselves as the go-to people for creatives based on the continent. Whether you would like to purchase a suit from our tailor in Zambia, or to be put in touch with a photographer in Ethiopia or a make-up artist in South Africa, MIA (Made in Africa) would be the people to come to. On the product side, through our unisex products, we have taken into account more measurements than usual to engineer what we believe to be a more universal fit, in particular addressing the trade-off between a proper waist fit and appropriate thigh room that many people (men especially) suffer in respect of trousers. Happy to go into the product USP in more detail.
Shipping costs?
Hi @delwilliams - for inbound delivery, we use DHL as we have good relationships with them on the ground in South Africa and Zambia - this is reflected within the price of the goods and within the price agreed with each tailor. For us, DHL represents the best balance between value for money, reliability and quality of delivery service. Given our mid-to-high end market positioning, these things are important to us. For ready-to-wear outbound UK delivery, the cost of delivery is generally included within the price paid by the customer. For deliveries outside of the UK, we will notify the potential customer of the additional cost and ask them to confirm that they are happy for the costs to be included in the price that they will be required to pay. For made-to-measure delivery, given that the margin is higher, we will cover the cost of any outbound delivery in almost all cases, as well as any additional costs that may arise if further substantive revisions to products are required to be made following fittings and/or products need to be send back to our tailors.