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Photo: @kaicollective

How the Nigerian Designer Behind ‘Kai Collective’ Made 2020 the Year of the Gaia Dress

Fashion blogger Fisayo Longe made a dress for Black women, and the whole world took notice

In December of 2011, Fisayo Longe, a young Nigerian who had just moved to the United Kingdom, stumbled onto Tumblr and discovered the world of fashion blogging. A few weeks later, in January, as she embarked on a gap year, Fisayo started her own blog as a way to document both her style and her experiences while traveling.

The blog, Mirror Me, was one of the first fashion and travel blogs created by a Nigerian and since its founding, has evolved from a fun hobby, into Longe's full-time job—providing her with opportunities to work with and partner with big international brands like Adidas, Nike among others.

It also allowed Longe, a Nigerian who now constantly moves between London and Lagos, to build a global audience and platform which she leveraged when she launched the fashion brand that in 2020 has become the go-to for fashion girls all around the world—Kai Collective. The brand was first launched in 2016 and features colorful styles that Fisayo's audience as an influencer all loved immediately, but it wasn't till 2020 that the brand began its meteoric rise in popularity.

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Rebuilding the Nigerian Fashion Industry After Coronavirus

While the style capital of Africa remains shuttered, Nigerian fashion insiders have an ambitious plan to forge an independent path in a post-COVID world.