Amira Rasool’s Folklore Group Scores $1.7 Million Seed For African Fashion Brands

PhenomenalMAG Staff  |  Fashion Me In Style

A $1.7 million pre-seed round has helped Folklore Group make the switch from direct-to-consumer to B2B wholesale.

It is hoped that the Folklore Connect will connect luxury fashion brands from emerging nations to bulk retailers in North America and Europe.

For the past two years, Amira Rasool's online business has been selling to clients in the United States, but it hasn't been able to expand quickly enough. The wholesale conversion was brought on by a surge in interest in the startup's fashion and lifestyle items.

The Folklore's sales have increased more than 100 percent year-on-year since its launch, Rasool says. She expects the group and partner fashion enterprises to grow as a result of the new business model and investment.

She adds: "With Folklore Connect, we plan to devote up to 95 percent of our resources to this product in the future. Our technical and sales teams are currently under construction. An extraordinary head of engineering and a director of brand and retail partnerships have been added to our sales and customer success teams in Africa and the United States."

Fashion-focused online media platform The Folklore Edit will be launched as well.

Other notable Black angel investors, including WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike, participated in the investment round, including The Fearless Fund.

Africa's hidden potential is beginning to be noticed by the rest of the globe. As a result, there is a huge increase in the demand for items that are representative of the culture. Ajay Relan, the managing partner of Slauson & Co., said Amira is ready to lead this drive.

Its B2B wholesale portal will offer up to 30 fashion firms, such as Rich Mnisi, Suki Suki Naturals, and Orange Culture, to 15 US stores.

In order to provide the demand, the company works with well-known African fashion labels.

"We're looking at things from a global perspective. Everybody can wear their products from these brands," says Rasool, who created The Folklore after discovering amazing and imaginative fashion enterprises in South Africa. She also noted that while they may have cultural value, they are remixed or transformed to match a global perspective.

A master's degree in Africa studies at the University of Cape Town allowed her to understand more about the African designers she encountered on her travels around the continent. When she wasn't working at Marie Claire or V Magazine, she was at a number of smaller publications.

Rasool says that she was only familiar with mainstream fashion, which was dominated by North American and European brands. As a result, Rasool traveled to South Africa, where she discovered a slew of innovative businesses with a focus on worldwide markets.

Many of them did not have direct consumer platform linkages, and those that did lacked sales tools. As a result, these brands were only available in their own countries. To remedy this, she established The Folklore.

According to Rasool, the Folklore Group is extending markets for luxury brands and more from Africa and globally, while also addressing growing retailer demand for diversity and inclusion.


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