Saturday, June 17, 2006

The High Price of Fashion in Nigeria

Reading through the latest edition of True Love magazine, a letter in the ‘LETTERS’ section caught my eye and the writer was complaining about the prices of the clothes being featured in the magazine's fashion spread. She saw them as being ‘outrageous and unreasonable’. How unreasonable can the prices be, thought I and quickly flipped to the said pages to take a look.

I have to say that I agree with the writer of the letter. The prices of the clothes (all by Adebayo Jones - who is he?) really are outrageous!! The one that absolutely floored me was a black tulle skirt costing =N= 213,000!! Have I been living on another planet or do women really spend that much in Nigeria on a skirt?? By my calculations that’s about £850. Are people really earning that much to be able to splurge so much money on a skirt?

Now for those who would argue that designers on this side of the pond charge just as much and more for their clothes, I would say there are a lot more people with that kind of spending power here (when I say ‘here’ I refer to Europe/the States) than in Nigeria. The last time I checked the average monthly salary was about =N=80,000? But then, I could be completely wrong and things may have changed drastically from when last I lived in the country, so forgive me for my ignorance.

I guess the clothes are obviously considered to be haute couture and so meant to be bought and worn by a minuscule section of the society who can afford to pay such prices and not for the average 9 – 5 workers who actually buy the magazine.


Blogger Ore said...

You're right. Adebayo Jones is considered haute couture. And yes, even though the vast majority of Nigerians don't command incomes that can afford them such clothes, there is the minority that do.

Overall, I find the clothes featured in True Love to be quite expensive though they might occasionally have some cheaper items. I think as much as many Nigerians love to dress and would go into debt to oppress, True Love could do with featuring a lot more affordable clothing.

2:21 pm  
Blogger Onada said...

i totally agree with ore. I've only seen a few issues of true love but i didnt find the clothes prices quite outrageous......

5:03 pm  
Blogger TaureanMinx said...

They have pages for 'average spend'. As for earning power, some people make mad money, oil company workers, business owners etc. Then again a lot of these 'top society ladies' are quite materialistic and spend quite a lot on clothes, Glod jewelry etc. Then there are those being 'sponsored'. Girls attach themsleves to thieving politicians, accomplished old and married men, succesful young men, and men with 'names'.

1:45 am  
Blogger Adunni said...

i agree with ore. I think true love should feature more affordable clothing. Majority of the women who read true love couldn't possibly be able to afford the clothes featured. Even the so called pages for "average spend" is filled with outrageously priced items. I once read a foreign mag that featured items in twos, they called it splurge and steal. One item would be froma major designer and more luxurious (the splurge)and the other would be a cheaper version of the exact same item (the steal). Even though it was in dollars they were reasonably priced. Couldn't true love have a section like that?

11:55 am  
Blogger Pilgrimage to Self said...

@ Adunni: Thats definately the way for True Love to go - offering a slurge and steal option, that way they'll appeal to a wider market. Over here, loads of magazines offer these options and I tend to avoid those that don't. And like you say, even their 'average spend' pages are pretty expensive as well.

@ minx: I have a couple of friends who work for oil companies in Nigeria and even though they make 'mad' money, they're still not mad enough to spend =N=213,000 on one skirt. I still can't get over that price!!

1:42 pm  
Blogger Pilgrimage to Self said...

Sorry, that should have been 'Splurge' :-)

1:43 pm  
Blogger Onada said...

i mean i DID find the clothes prices outrageous

4:29 pm  
Blogger adefunke said...

Lol, Spice made the same comment looking through my back issues of True Love and I have often though the pricing was really silly. There was one time they featured shirts by Davina, and all items where under 8k, that made sense to me. But then again with labor so cheap in Nigeria, all I have to do is buy the fabric at Tejuoso Market, give it to Wunmi (my tailor it will cost me max 5k to make) along with the picture from True Love and I am ready to go!

9:16 pm  
Blogger Vera Ezimora said...

I know I am really, really late in replying this post, but abeg, do you know how I can get in touch with True Love magazine?

5:41 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which one is splurge and steal again? Is it not Naija? Please, go and meet your tailor, nothing wey Baba Funka or Mama Chinelo CANNOT sew. Na just a matter of material abi? Even here in Yankee, some of the steals are still expensive. Thank God, I ALWAYS go to Sample sales. See me snagging $400 Italian leather shoes for $40. I love my life. But abeg, no laff me oh, but wetin be True Love? Na like Hints? I never reach naija for over 4 years now :(

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Suby said...

I think I may go against the grain here, since some of his (Adebayo) clothes are Haute Couture then they will definitely need to command not only high prices, but exorbitant prices, after all you really do want to be the only one of very few wearing these garments.

Not actually ever seen True Love Magazine, but I would not think they would only ever showcase such expensive clothes, their is a market for the affordable and ready to wear and they also have to cater for the minority that can afford Haute Couture.

And if one does not want to buy such expensive clothes as someone rightly pointed out above

"Is it not Naija? Please, go and meet your tailor, nothing wey Baba Funka or Mama Chinelo CANNOT sew. Na just a matter of material abi?" LOL


11:58 am  
Blogger somi-li-cious! said...

I agree o! The prices are just ridiculous most of the time. I dont think most people even seriously consider buying those clothes.... or maybe the prices are just inflated in the publication so as to impress readers. Anyway most of us dont buy the mags "true love and Genevieve" for the clothes, we read them because they are entertaining and informative and the closest we have to the international glossy magazines women have always loved to read.

5:14 pm  

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