“Hello, London. We’ve arrived and we plan on showing the world what Africa formal has to offer.”
Made in Africa, or MIA, is a new and emerging brand. Founded in 2016 by junior lawyer Aji Ayorinde, the brand is classical – focusing on sharp tailoring, attention to detail and most importantly, the comfort of the wearer. Despite the passion and idea being created while in Africa, MIA’s has primarily been making a name for itself in the UK.
While the brand is heavily centred on its relationship with Africa and its founding roots. At a glance, their products aren’t necessarily what would be described as “typically African”. Their most recent retail collection does not ostentatiously feature any ‘African’ prints or patterns, no wax, or any reference to traditional African designs. So, one must wonder other than Africa coincidentally being home to the birth of the brands conception, what other claim does the brand have to the continent?
All of MIA’s products are handmade by skilled tailors across various African countries; including South Africa and Zambia. MIA plans to move into Nigeria next. Aji states that the general goal is to showcase to the world the talent possessed by tailors in Africa and to demonstrate the diversity of styles and influences within the various African countries. However, when looking at the brand, MIA’s pursuit of bespoke pieces is what arguably makes them quintessential African. To those from an African country or familiar with fashion and design in the continent, they will know that tailoring/bespoke pieces are part of the culture. The majority of clothing in African countries, mainly West Africa tends to be tailored. This can be attributed to a lack or low availability of high street retailers. Furthermore, clothing purchased in stores are often subject to further tailoring.
Importing a norm from Africa, MIA offers a luxury and bespoke service to their clients, including extensive consultation and multiple choices of fabric. MIA serves both men and women, to place an order or find out more click here.
MIA can also be found on Twitter: @Mialdnapparel, Instagram: @Mialdnapparel.