“African Designers Are Not Doing The Sports Brand” TM Clothing Boss

The African Fashion Week Nigeria has come and gone, the organizers are probably planning the one for 2019, but guess what! We still remember the glitz, pomp and exciting designs that were displayed at the fashion week. But most importantly, we still have some messages from designers we spoke to during the fashion week. Dennis Hendricks co-owner of TM Clothing Line, (a sports wear brand), came all the way from Namibia. WakeUpAfrica had an interesting chat with him at the exhibition stand…….

Let’s know more about you?

I am from Namibia, my name is Dennis Hendricks, I am a model and a designer, my other partner unfortunately is not here, so I am here alone. But I am here most importantly, to support our brand. Africa is huge and I think the fashion industry is getting bigger. This is the first time we are showing on this platform in Lagos and its also my first trip here. We showed in the 5th anniversary of African Fashion Week Nigeria, and its been really great, I think they put up a good show, and I also put up a good show for our brand on the runway. Of course, I selected the models that walked the runway for our brand, and its been really good.

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You showed your collections yesterday, what did you expect in terms of audience reaction to your collections?
I think a lot of poeple were shocked, they felt that because a lot of designers are actually doing more of African attires, modern designs, Arabian straight wears. And this time coming to Lagos, I think that was the main reason for us to put out the message out there that this is what other countries can do. And that is also creating an opportunity to sort of let them know that someone else out there is just as talented an Nigerians are. A lot of African desingers are not doing the sports brand, so we step up on the plate and we feel that if one can actually step up, that would motivate many people as well, to come out and create sports wears because we have runners here. And we can’t continue to wear foreign sports brands all the time, it gets boring. Africans, we need to value our own people, the talent is here. Nike is a guy, as well as TM, its a logos or brand name, I think thats what is important. So coming to Lagos, for me was just to put the statment out there and it picked a lot of people, their mindset. I saw when I was on the runway, the band just changed, thats what its all about. You have gotta give it out there.

Your TM pieces, are they on sale in Nigeria, or do you intend to open a market for it here?

I think that me coming here was also to shop for markets here, put out the message of our brands and see possible ways of creating a buying audience here. I think that what I will be taking back home is that we can look at what other business aspect we can take off with, in terms of the scores. That is in place, I am glad that the market is here, not just on social media, but livestream. AFWN, you know when taking part in that very moment and I think its going all over the world. So I think that is important for us, coming from Namibia. Yes definitely in the future, I think next year, we will look into the Nigerian market really well.

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When you compare fashion in Namibia with fashion in Nigeria, how would you rate it?

I gotta be very honest with you, I have been in the fashion industry for more than twenty years, Namibia, we have gradually picked up the pace and we are fast catching up. Lagos Nigeria, is such a big place fashion wise, but there is also a little human error, that a lot of designers and the organisers of the shows don’t pay attention to. It shouldn’t be always about the money, it shouldn’t be because, those of us who are coming from far countries its just more than the service. Its more than just, they should deliver all that they have said on social media. It shouldn’t be just for marketing purposes but also at same time, people that are attending AFWN in Lagos for instance, what’s important is that people should understand that designers that are coming from all parts of Nigeria and outside, people need to buy and support the local designer because that’s the only way you grow. Now people come in here in the fashion week and they just go home empty-handed. So its not just looking at the models, and say ‘oh she looks good in the outfit’. You know the reason why there is fashion week, is people need to buy garments first hand, that’s why its important. And also now, the model should not just focus on publicity, they should focus on creating their profiles or resume as a model and also going out of their way to different countries to see what obtains there, that’s the only time you grow. I think the organiser should really look at the whole scenario again because when designers go back home, if they are unhappy a lot of African countries would not want to take part again. So beside having the event, they should make people happy. That’s also one way to keep them interested in the show.

So is this your first trip to Nigeria?
This is my first time to Nigeria, and I really just wanted to see what they are actually made of. Its a great country, I love my brothers and sisters, and I went out of my way just to be here. You know to support them, we are one continent we need to unite through fashion, not just music as well but also networking as well.

Have you tasted any Nigerian food, and which do you like most?
That’s a very good question, I love the fufu (laughs), I ate it halfway and within few seconds that fufu just got me finished.

We hope to see more of you in all our fashion weeks
Great man, I will try, love you Nigeria, so much love men!

Photo credit WakeUpAfrica360

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