Situated in the heart of Old Ikoyi, XII Glover is the newest solution to retail in Lagos. One of the first of its kind, XII Glover is stocked with the latest of young trendy fashion. They sell items from brands like Supreme, VANS, Palace, Sammy States, KITH, amongst many others. They also boast of their own seasonal collection under the same XII brand.

We sat with Ife & Azeezah from the XII team on the store and fashion scene in Nigeria.

CC: What was the reason behind setting up the store?

Ife: We want the brand to speak for itself, the focus is the brand XII.  It’s like your typical guy in Lagos, Nairobi, Kigali or Johannesburg, what kind of stuff would they like to wear? What would they feel comfortable wearing that represents them and what they do? I can’t speak for all those places, I haven’t been to any of them. I can only speak for Lagos which is why we are based here. But we are really looking at it from a global lens. We want to take the brand out. We are used to buying Nike, Off White and others. Why are there hardly any brands here that we produce and create?

Azeezah: That’s the brand, but the store itself has its own brand which is doubling as the voice of the African millennial but also bringing in items like Supreme that Nigerians here find hard to access. Even though we do have a Nike store, what shoes do they really bring in that people want to wear on a daily basis or even have young people interested? Their stock tends to be dated in many of these stores.

Ife: The store is a platform for young aspiring African brands trying to come up but also brands abroad trying to come into Africa. Everyone is looking to Africa as the next big thing. For example, a Swedish company reached out. They’re called Strong Woman and they want to stock here. It shows that there is an appetite to target our demographic.

In terms in terms of local brands, who are you stocking?

Ife: Sammy States and Stay Cosy

 On the foreign front?

Supreme, Off White, Kith. For shoes Fila, Balenciaga and Vans

 Would you say XII Glover is filling the void of street wear?

Azeezah: It’s about feeling a gap in the market. We aren’t totally a street wear store, we are more of a concept store, especially because of the fact that we’re trying to be a platform for Nigerian designers. It’s not Nigerian street wear designers, we will branch into other genres later on. But now we wanted to start with this just because this is what we’re passionate about and what we know. We feel like the other ones take a lot of research before you get it right.

Do you think street wear has adequate representation locally?

Azeezah: We do have a lot of lines and they’re consumed a lot, but I think that they’re not looked at as established as other, “normal” fashion brands. So like a Clan, for instance has more clout than a Severe Nature who have probably been around about the same amount of years. So I think that, in general terms, like the fashion industry in Nigeria, it doesn’t really frown upon, but it doesn’t encourage street wear. So I think that’s also another reason why we want to do this because it’s like, people put a lot of work into these brands. It’s casual wear, but at the end of the day it’s still design. It still takes effort and still a lot of time.

 What steps do you think will get streetwear more recognised locally?

Azeezah: The store is definitely a step. I think another thing is probably just involvement in general fashion activities like fashion weeks or fashion events in general. I think brands do a lot of pop ups, but I feel like sometimes they had been confined to strictly pop ups rather than an exhibition for instance, or a presentation, even a runway show. I don’t think there’s any reason why a street wear brand cant have a runway show

Ife: Another thing is if you look at like what streets guys wear, its fake YEEZYS, Gucci so they want it, but may not be able to afford it. Next time you’re driving look around the street guys. So its an issue of affordability and accessibility.

 How much potential do you believe there is for streetwear to become much more of a commonplace feature for the Nigerian masses?

Ife: It depends on your price points. A brand like Waffles N Cream is clearly for the masses. The average guy on the street may not be able to afford it, but another young guy just coming up in life can if he wants it. Nigerians are particular about presentation. Their brand doesn’t look too expensive so it doesn’t put off potential buyers. Approach, awareness, conversation is key.

What plans do you have for the rest of the year? .

Ife: So we’re looking to do either Lagos Fashion Week (if we can get in) or a GTBank pop up. We’d do a special line for those events around that season. We should note that our collections are one off, once we do a line, we don’t do it again. The XII collections are always one off per season. There will probably be something in October as that is Fashion Week season, and we hope to be showcasing. We’re looking to do pop ups in Pan Atlantic University, Greensprings, Grange, BIS and the likes. Also do something in December. The store is relevant in 2 capacities, the store as platform being the gateway to Africa and the XII Clothing brand too.

Is the XII clothing brand streetwear too?
Ife: It’s more of a hybrid- you can wear it to the club, the beach. It’s multi purpose.

Do you guys work with influencers?

Ife: Well we want the brand to speak for itself. We have had a few friends and family help promote. The likes of Odunsi and Wavy came for the opening. They wear the brand as well. XII is the influencer in itself.

How do you think the brand fits into the underground youth culture bubbling under?
Ife: I think its interesting that we are coming up at the same time, you know what I mean? In the next four, five years, those guys will be huge so the relationship is organic, we we are evolving together.

Do you guys plan on taking a part in pushing this culture, maybe through fashion & lifestyle?
Ife: Of course, we are into all sorts, not just clothes. We are going into beauty, wellness amongst others. Native is stocked here, XII is a lifestyle, not just a streetwear store, its more of a concept store doing relevant things to our lifestyle.

What are your favourite local brands?
Azeezah: Oh I really like Re Lagos ,Tiffany Amber and Onalaja. Tiffany Amber for me is an aspirational brand so I wouldn’t really relate it to this store, but she’s doing a diffusion line. So then maybe we could even collaborate with her on that

Ife: My tailor, Tara Gabriel, Waffles N Cream, Home Delivery, Bearded Genius and Sammy States. We plan to do collaborations with all these guys, as the opportunities present themselves.

Last words

Swing by, come shop. We are open to ideas. We want this to be a group project. Kind of. It’s like it takes a village for everything to work and we don’t want to be the only ones. We feel like it’s a group thing. So with all the brands we want to work together to take everything together abroad and bring everything here by ourselves. Why should the Nike have to bring in when we can bring in for Nike, so we are basically here not just as a store and clothing brand but solution to the ecosystem