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Challenges and Opportunities within the Fashion Industry

Oriolowo Taiwo

Like every other industry, the fashion industry can be very challenging, but great opportunities can come from the challenges, just like all industries. In this article, I outline some of the challenges and opportunities within the fashion industry.

One of the major challenges of any business is capital, and that goes for fashion as well. Running a fashion business is not cheap and requires capital to source materials and run the entire business from production to marketing and promotion. It is great to have a passion for fashion and want to start your brand or business, but it is essential to take into consideration the great cost of starting a fashion business. We advise prospective designers or creative entrepreneurs to research before embarking on an entrepreneurial journey within fashion. It is important to research all the overheads of starting a fashion business to be informed on what to expect when running your business. Much goes into fashion, especially where cost is concerned, so research is vital.

Information or the lack thereof is another challenge facing the fashion industry in Africa. Every industry is operated based on consistent collection and application of up to date information. Information through education is key in running any system. For the business of fashion to thrive in Africa, there has to be an up to date collection and database for information that the entire industry can have access to. This contributes significantly to the development of the industry because the level of educational information available can help how creatives navigate in not only setting up within the industry but thriving as well.

Another challenge is the lack of or complete absence of proper structure within the fashion industry in Africa. This is sometimes location-based as we have fashion design entrepreneurship moving at a good projection in some geographical locations and the reverse in most cases in underdeveloped locations. In a situation where there is a stiff structure in the operational space of the fashion industry at large, fashion design entrepreneurs are met with little or no help. Proper structure needs to be put in place to ease the operational activities of these entrepreneurs. This will help boost productivity and increase revenue.

Having unreliable manufacturers affects fashion. This is a common challenge faced by fashion designers within the industry, and it is detrimental to the business as it often comes as a loophole to the smooth running of other units. This also creates a dent in designer and consumer relationships.

Regardless of these challenges, there are also opportunities that come with being a creative within the fashion industry. One of the biggest opportunities is creating a living and building a legitimate career path as a fashion entrepreneur. Apart from design, other branches of the fashion industry play a major role in the sustenance of any fashion business. These include photography, videography, art director, hair and makeup artists, stylist, public relations, graphic designer, creative director, production manager, marketing, digital editors, multimedia production roles, writers, and so much more. There is a vast pool of creative career paths to pursue in the fashion industry.

The fashion industry exposes you to various cultures and people. Through research and design sourcing, you learn about new cultures and expand your knowledge of how other countries operate in fashion design and production.

Collaboration is one of the most powerful aspects of building phenomenal relationships within the fashion industry, and through collaboration, amazing projects are birthed. The fashion industry opens doors to opportunities for talents to collaborate and tell unique stories.

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