ENTERING A NEW CHAPTER
LIBAYA is back in Ghana to produce new items. Since it has been a journey with a lot of new directions to the process — I decided to write my first personal post as the founder and share an update of the things we have been working on behind the scenes. It truly feels as if we are walking into a new chapter with the brand; your support has been amazing!
When I started the brand I was only partnering with individual tailors. As the main goal is to create new opportunities and exchange inspiration and knowledge with the many tailors you find in the corners of every street. But last year I joined forces with a workshop that creates job opportunities for local female tailors through a production space where they are secured of a monthly salary and training to grow. And what I love is that the all female team connects with our statement shirt ‘‘the future is female and African’’. After all the way of working and values of the owner are so close to our brand’s DNA that I will continue build on a strong relationship with her and the tailors. This decision also allows Libaya to produce on a larger scale for future retail partners. Meanwhile I will also continue working with other individual tailors that are still in charge of 50% of the collections. Effectually our main goal is to grow a network of creators that can learn from each other and exchange thoughts and ideas on how to grow individually and as a community.
Libaya started with producing tops only — matter fact the name derives from a Congolese way of dress where women wear tailored made tops commonly worn with a (African) cloth wrapped around the waist. While having a main focus on tops we have been receiving a lot of questions about offering complete looks to facilitate the Libaya style. Of course this has always been on the top of our minds but since we are inspired by a specific style story we wanted to complete our brand with pieces that connect with the stories we want to tell. Being inspired by the way African women effortlessly wrap their cloth around the waist – I decided to produce a series of skirts to mix and match with our tops. Meaning Libaya will have full looks available for the first time.
I look forward to making style even more fun for all the #libayagirls and soon share the stories behind the first new pieces that will be released in November. In the meantime make sure you follow my last few weeks in Ghana via @libaya on instagram.
— Nsimba Valene / the founder.