I recently became a member of a tribe, a tribe I’m sure more and more people will also be a part of before long. A very talented friend of mine has created an awesome lifestyle brand Bora Assumani. I was lucky enough to be asked to model for her and had an awesome day smizing away. I loved the concept of the brand and so I asked the lovely lady herself to tell me a bit more about it.
Tell us a bit about the ‘Bora Assumani’ brand…
Bora Assumani is a lifestyle brand embracing culture and tradition through fashion, music and dance. We are the future’s ‘what if’ of yesterday recreating what if Africa and other aboriginal counties were not discovered and colonised by westerners.
What drove or inspired you to create the brand?
The drive to want to create my brand came about from seeing brands such as Boxing Kitten with not much fashion experience really being successful and knowing that I have all of the qualifications needed to also do it myself. I have seen many other people with brands influenced by African fashion and have always felt that in order to really grow a niche market specifically in fashion, you really need to make it commercial and follow the recipes of the western world so that people don’t feel so intimidated to try something that they are not familiar with. I believe this allows growth to a wider audience, which is what Bora Assumani, is all about. We want our fashion to be for everyone
Is the brand idea a true reflection of who you are?
Yes its is and so much more. The brand captures my personality and things that interests me but as it is very much a growing Tribe, I want the brand to evolve with those that Join the tribe to also influence ideas so that it is a collection of many things.
Who wears or is likely to wear the brand?
I would describe my customer has an eclectic explorer. My customer is someone young at heart and a bit of an explorer. Someone who loves to travel to different countries for cultural experience and getting involved with other people’s tradition.
You already work in the fashion industry, please tell us what you do.
Well I have a degree in fashion design and have taken my career on the direction of menswear more because of opportunities in this field and have worked on different areas working from a supplier company to Marks and Spencer, Ted Baker and now I am currently designing for C&A based in Brussels on mens essentials. I design and communicate with all sorts of people on my team from buyers, garment technicians, merchandisers to factories until the final product is in the shops.
Was working in the fashion industry a contributing factor to creating ‘Bora Assumani’?
I have always been quite inventive with creativity and had a vision since the age of 12 braiding creative extensions, to have a clothing and hair business one day (he he)! I have gained a lot of experience working in different levels and brands in fashion as a designer and as much as the knowledge gained is an advantage to starting my own business, money has always been an issue to successfully execute my ideas so I really had to research.
Why did you name it after you?
Why not!? The reason is because I have always been told and know that my name is quite distinctive and sounds like a premium brand when pounced properly and growing up in a western country I wanted the name of my brand to be one that reflect on my origin and hope the name lives some kind of a legacy one day
You have launched with only t-shirts. Do you plan on expanding into other things in the future? And if yes what will they be?
Yes of course I plan to expand with other products but I believe in starting slowly and getting to know your market before rushing into trying to do everything in one go. Other products will include woven shirts, dresses and an expansion of the ‘faces of the spirit’ t-shirt range with more characters.
What sort of problems have you faced or encountered whilst creating the brand?
I think my biggest challenge has been really trying to find a supplier/factory that would produce a small amount of orders at a good price
Where do you see or envisage the brand in five years?
Bora Assumani is all about engaging with people and embracing different traditions in order to learn and help those without so within 5 years time I hope to create jobs for tailors in African, participate in charity work through music and dance and really influence the way in which people dress.
What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to start their own business like you have done?
I would say do your home work. Really know why you want to start a particular business and how it is different to anything else already in the market. Once you know that they really go for it because only those that try usually become successful leaders.
Finally what spirit are you?
Mmm I think I would say Moto the spirit of fire because I am very loving but can be a bit fiery about what I am passionate about
All photos credited to Bora Assumani.