The #BNSDigitalSummit: Mapping Africa’s Fashion Future which held on Saturday the 8th of August made one thing clear; the African fashion industry is growing in leaps; from the appreciation and promotion of local artisans to vast international recognition. All the discussions emphasised one common fact; the time has come to challenge the narrative used to describe Africa’s growing influence on the global stage.

BellaNaija Style hosted 11 African industry leaders from around the world in editorial, public relations, fashion education and fashion design over a 4-hour virtual session to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the fashion industry in Africa and beyond.

We’ve rounded up 5 unmissable quotes from Saturday’s event. Watch all the panel discussions here.

You cant aim to build a global brand without first developing a brand identity.

Nigerian designers and fashion brands have the creativity within however now more than ever it’s imperative to rebuilt with developed strategies and structure for their businesses to scale. This birthed my Scale with Veronica which is a fashion business platform to aide the development and growth of Nigerian brands.

Veronica Odeka
Founder Vane Style

What have I gained in the past five years that can make me stand out to a prospective employer?. In the industry, employers are looking to hire someone that can show work experience.

–  Yoanna Chikezie
Founder, The Assembly

Entrepreneurs need to understand the importance of business forecasting and consider how news and trends on a global level can impact their business at home and make a contingency plan for it.

– Tobi Idowu
Freelance Projects & Partnerships

Exposure and platforms are great but the commercial side of the styling business is really important especially in this part of the world.

– Oluwatosin Ogundadegbe
Stylist, The Style Infidel

If you want to start a fashion brand, think creatively but also have the mind of an entrepreneur

– Ogwa Iweze
Founder, DZYN