The mission of BabaAfrik Outfits is focused on changing peoples perspective about African fabrics and outfits by incorporating the African prints including Ankara and Kente in our everyday lives. It’s more than the clothes, it’s all about the CULTURE. I had the pleasure of interviewing the Founder of BabaAfrik and got insight on how he got his business started, and advice for anyone who is thinking of starting their own business.
Make sure you head to BabaAfrik.com to support and purchase some merchandise..I definitely plan to! BabaAfrik is definitely here to stay and leave his mark on the Fashion & Clothing World! Check Out the interview below!
1. How did the clothing concept “BabaAfrik ” come about, and who is the mastermind behind it?
I, Babatunde Sanusi founded BabaAfrik Outfits in 2013. The clothing line started on the campus of Claflin University where students showed a lot of interest in purchasing outfits that I wore. The outfits were made of Ankara fabric but the design were in tune with the current fashion trends. I then decided to make some more outfits and see how people reached to them.
2. Where were you born & raised? Did your upbringing have an influence on the merchandise that you decided to design and sell?
I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria (Ojuelegba) and it definitely had a strong influence on the concept for BabaAfrik Outfits. My mom was always into Ankara (which is the common Nigerian fabric) and 80% of her clothes were Ankara lol so when she retired, she went into business selling African fabrics.
3. Define Fashion? And how would you describe the “BabaAfrik” style and how does it differentiate from other footwear lines?
Fashion to me is a well know trend or practice especially in clothing, accessories or make-up. The BabaAfrik style is unique because its original/one of a kind. Our goal is to incorporate the African prints in our everyday wear so that people can become more comfortable wearing them on a daily basis.
4. Who is your specific audience that you are targeting?
Our target market are young African-Americans and Africans in general.
5. Who are some people in the Fashion Industry that you look up to for guidance, and ways to enhance the “BabaAfrik” brand?
Sean Stussy, Founder of Stussy,
Karen Civil, Owner of KarenCivil.com
Kanye West, Rapper and Founder Yeezy
50 Cent, Rapper and Entrepreneur
I look up to these individuals because they are business oriented and very innovative. They are strong believers of staying true to ones dream and not giving up no matter what. They are also not afraid of venturing into new businesses.
6. What are 3 words that you would use to describe the BabaAfrik brand? Why?
Innovative, Customer-oriented and affordable
BabaAfrik Outfits is innovative because the designs are original and made in accordance to peoples needs which makes it easy to embraced. We are also focused on providing our customers with a great experience while shopping with us. And we make the clothes affordable for everyone.
7. Where would you like to see the brand “BabaAfrik” in 5 years? Will you expand outside of clothing?
I would love to see BabaAfrik Outfits collaborating with other fashion brands and designers to incorporate the Ankara print into different clothing styles like shoes, athletic wear and outerwear to name a few.
8. Are there any upcoming fashion shows, or launches for people to look forward to? Also will BabaAfrik be solely online, or can we look forward to an onsite location?
Yes, BabaAfrik will be featured in upcoming fashions shows at Auburn University, Lincoln College, University of Georgia, Athens and Kennesaw State University. I am also currently looking to partner with local clothing stores to sell BabaAfrik Outfits onsite.
9. What is one of the biggest obstacles the company has had to endure thus far? And do you have any advice to those who are looking to start their own business?
One of the biggest obstacles that the company has experienced thus far would be International shipping. All of the fabrics, manufacturing and tailoring for the clothes are done in solely in Nigeria, so I have to get them shipped to the U.S after production.
My advice for anyone looking into starting their own business is to research the type of business they want to start and know who their target market, network with people and get into something you have passion for.
10. How can people get in contact with you via email or social media outlets?
Our website is BabaAfrik.com
BabaAfrik Outfits is on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr