Wear Nation: Urbanizing African Fashion

In the competitive fashion industry in Ghana, Wear Nation has been able to soar despite all odds to maintain a household name not only in Tamale but also in the nation.

Wear Nation is a clothing line founded by Nana Kyei a geological engineering graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). After several attempts at getting a job, Nana Kyei decided to start his own business and Wear Nation was born. Speaking to Akosua Kwartemaa Boakye on the Real Talk segment of Daybreak Tamale, Nana Kyei said he started Wear Nation with his national service allowance, which at that time could only produce just 10 shirts. Though the dream was started as a non-profit, after two years it moved towards an entrepreneurial venture as he began to make significant gains in the business. Wear Nation’s designs are unique because all the designs are hand made by blending the African print design with urban concepts to make them outstanding.

In two years, Wear Nation has been able to acquire a warehouse (retail shop) and a production shop in Tamale. Recently, they were nominated in the ‘Fashion Start-Up’ category at the ongoing Ghana Start-Up Awards. Despite the fact that its competitors are well known in the celebrity and fashion world and is well hyped, Nana Kyei still has high hopes of winning. Currently, Wear Nation has an online shop with representatives in Canada, Ukraine and Russia.

When asked about who he looks up to Nana Kyei said he is inspired by entrepreneurs like the award winning Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum not for his political aspirations but for his entrepreneurial skills and mindset in business. He also finds inspiration in the work and achievements of Nallem Clothing and always looks forward to their new designs.

Wear Nation faces a major challenge of copyright. According to the Tamale based young entrepreneur, people ‘steal’ designs and pictures of the clothing line and publicize them as theirs. He said that it is difficult to put an end to such acts because the copyright law does not support fashion. If the law could be amended to include items of clothing, young entrepreneurs like him could protect their intellectual property.

Nana Kyei, in his concluding remarks, urged the youth who want to engage in entrepreneurship to ‘identify their passion and make profit out of it’. He said the youth should not follow what others are doing but look within themselves and with their passion, prayer and hardwork, they would be able to make great profits.

 

About the Writer

Precious Yinmbey Awuni is a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

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