When it comes to making your mark on the Nigerian fashion scene, few, if any, are barely able to scratch the surface. From funding constraints to disrupted manufacturing chains, there is little to no room available for Nigerian fashion brands to cultivate brand identities that deeply resonate with their customers. So when brands like Garmspot arrive on the scene – you pay attention.
Garmspot started in 2016 as a clothing brand based in the UK, and was born out of a desire to bridge the gap between street culture and fashion. They soon however noticed that their Nigerian based customers had difficultly getting access to their items, and felt like a retail website was critical to solving this problem. After doing a bit more research, they quickly found other up and coming independent fashion labels faced with the same problem. Garmspot decided to take it a step further and expanded its efforts to stock and sell other independent fashion labels on their website.
Since its genesis, Garmspot has hosted a slew of pop up events, increased its stock to over 40 fashion, beauty and accessories brands, and was the official merchandise partner at Felabration 2018. They have also created two new subsidiaries, GarmPrint and GarmTrade: GarmPrint is a printing agency that offers services such as direct-to-garment printing and GarmTrade is a platform that manages the design, production and distribution of clothing and accessories across Africa. With its own mini fashion ecosystem under their belt, Garmspot have quickly evolved into more than a clothing brand and into its own platform that gives other brands like themselves a leg into the industry.
At its core, Garmspot has always been about promoting youth culture. Whether it is through its politically charged slogans on their t-shirts, to hosting pop ups that incorporate youth artists and musicians, Garmspot fervently puts the onus on the Nigerian youth that doesn’t feel gimmicky or trendy. Their team is also a reflection of the respect Garmspot has for young minds, talents and taste.
With that being said, Garmspot has faced its challenges since it emerged in the Nigerian fashion market, with the most notable challenge being building a retail website that met delivery demands and built trust with its customers. Frequent questions from customers such as “will the items be delivered on time?” and “is my payment secure?” exposed the lack of trust between consumers and e-commerce in Nigeria. But that is quickly changing, with more and more people logging into Garmspot’s user friendly website, to purchase clothes, beauty and accessories from all over the world.
Despite its challenges, Garmspot’s rise in the fashion industry has been both deft and intentional, ensuring that youth culture and all the freedom it represents, is carefully interwoven in its brand.