Can we get there in Nigeria?
By Millicent Imade Arebun.
Following the trail of Micheal kors, whose record-breaking IPO, WWD reports has proved so successful, that other fashion brands are thinking of going public in hopes of coming close to the company’s $8.97 billion valuation. One wonder, when our designers and the fashion industry of Nigeria and Africa as a whole, will get to record such financial milestones in their labels. If it took him decades to achieve, then do our designers(Nigeria to be precise) have any hope of seeing the fruits of their labour in their lifetimes?
After going public at $25 a share, shares of Kors are up over 72 percent so far this year. A secondary offering of 25 million shares, expected to close Wednesday, has the stock priced at $47 a share. In other words, Kors is about to make serious bank–even more than before. At the initial offering, Kors netted himself a cool $117 million and if this secondary offering goes as planned, the designer will realize another $139.5 million. Forbes has estimated the designer’s net worth will reach the billions soon, when the KORS stock price hits $63.25. In other words, we can expect to see Kors’ name on Forbes‘ billionaire list next year.
Indeed there is a bloom in the Nigerian fashion industry and we definitely have a lot indigenous home-grown and foreign-trained creative designer geniuses, but is that enough? Can we really say the Nigerian fashion industry is growing ,when most of our brilliant designers are barely breaking even, not to take of profit? Can the Nigerian financial sector protect these designers, if they decide to go public with their business , taking into cognizance the fact that these same financial institutions finds it extremely difficult to extend loans to said designers plus the ‘Niaja factor of shortcuts to wealth’ ?
The ability to skirt the line between luxury and accessible luxury is now the magic trick to consumer satisfaction and concurrent sales volume and what I expect our fashion designers and businesses should glean from this unfolding success story. Fashion is a business and must be treated as such, despite the glitz, glamour and current instant fame accorded to anyone with the money and brains to create an ensemble and call it a collection.
In Micheal Kors case apparently, the key to their success was, the company’s focus on accessories, which is a higher margin business than apparel, and it’s position as “accessible luxury” in the market.
It remains to be seen if other brands both home and abroad can duplicate this record breaking success in the finance market.