Evans Akere is the founder of Vanskere and a trained Nigerian lawyer who dumped the legal profession for fashion, and now building a luxury lifestyle brand that is converting window shoppers to avid
clients with his outstanding designs and craftsmanship.
The Vanskere brand was launched in 2004 with a goal to manufacture stylish and good quality clothes, using the finest and quality fabrics, and the commitment to the this purpose quickly catapulted the brand from obscurity to the mainstream fashion industry in Africa.
In this interview with Business Elites Africa, Akere tells us how laser-focused he is to building a sustainable business while advising budding entrepreneurs to “Think big but start small.”
Q: What motivated you to start the Vanskere brand?
A: My love for fashion. Even as a law student, my sense of style was different. So you can say my desire for creating a different look was all the motivation I needed.
Q: How has the journey been?
A: Well, the journey has been a great experience. I have learnt quite a lot and I am still learning. In terms of the successes, I have been able to create a brand from mere passion. The challenges have been enormous, but we have been able to manage it. In terms of failures we haven’t had any, we don’t pray to have.
Q: You were a lawyer, why did you drop the profession for fashion, and if you could turn back the hands of time, would you make the same choice?
A: I dropped the legal profession because my passion for fashion supercedes that of law. If I could turn back the hands of time I’ll do it again.
Vankere is a luxury brand, why did you target this market segment? Is Africa’s mass market a bad idea?
A: Not at all, the Africa mass market is not a bad idea besides we are looking at towing that line in the nearest future. When we first started, the business simply offered bespoke services. Also bearing in mind the request of your customers tend to shape your business. In no time, we became a full-fledged ready to luxury wear brand.
Read the full interview in the latest edition of Business Elites Africa magazine here: Find it on pages 74&75.
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