At the beginning of March, Sika'a had a stylish date with an iconic British department store. Our first week-long pop-up event took place at the John Lewis Nottingham store and we were thrilled to bring our African fashion boutique to life in the form of a physical shop. The Sika'a team converted a fabulous space into a bold, beautiful and colourful pop-up and it was a pleasure to create a synergy between online and offline shopping. John Lewis and The Great British Exchange were an instrumental part of this exciting project, which gave us the opportunity to introduce our African fashion brand to a new audience and meet customers who have been long-time followers and shoppers of Sika'a.
Our style moment of the month
Putting on the Sika'a pop-up event was one of the best experiences we've had! We were able to transform the floor space with a curated edit of our label's unique African designs, all whilst honouring the continent's rich culture and heritage through fashion. Sika'a already has a strong online presence, but being able to build an experiential version of our brand in a physical store has been fantastic. Whilst interacting with people who stopped by, we found out that there are many shoppers out there who don't use online resources and it was exciting to be able to share our brand with them.
It has certainly confirmed our desire to hold more events like this. It was also important for us to make the Sika'a shopping experience a tactile one. Shoppers were able to see and feel our vibrant African prints and fabrics in person. It was terrific to watch them try on their favourite pieces - voluminous skirts, stunning dresses and striking blouses - and see how seamlessly our African designs could work with their wardrobe. We provided customers with a personalised service in an intimate setting and got to showcase Sika'a's sublime colours, cuts and fabrics through our stunning collections. Having that human touch is a big reason why we’ll be hosting more pop-ups in the future.
Our first time on the high street
Throwing open our doors at John Lewis was our first time on the high street and such a great place to be. The scale of the pop-up and the dialogue we got to have with visitors was wonderful. We had a lot of people comment that they were drawn to our window display of colourful silk scarves which celebrate everything that is bright and beautiful about African styles. Want to take a closer peek? Over on our website, you can find those same vibrant hand-painted prints on scarves like the Kipepeo and Queen Nandi.
We were also touched to meet one young man who not only thanked us for being there but said that he had never seen African clothes like ours in a UK store before. During the conversation we had, we found out that they reminded him of prints from his hometown in Ghana. It was experiences like these that were so rewarding during our Sika'a pop-up. To know that we can bring African fashion designers to the western high street in a way that showcases originality, creativity, individuality and expression.
We got to tell our story of sustainability
Having the chance to engage with consumers in real life was uplifting on other levels too. It was great speak with people about Sika'a's sustainability philosophy, and to let everyone know that we are a local, independent brand manufactured in both London and Nottingham. When people were asking, where do I find an African fashion brand near me, we could them that it’s us!
The pop-up was also an excellent chance to get across the Sika'a message of seasonless style. Our high-quality collections are designed to be worn all year round, with a focus on slowing down the fashion consumption cycle. At Sika'a, the essence of African heritage and authenticity are translated into wearable pieces with a long shelf life that the modern woman can bring out time and time again. Luxury style, comfort and confidence are what we're all about.
Seeing customers pair our African print bustier tops with our exquisitely tailored trousers and team our ultra-feminine silk midi skirts with matching silk blouses was a joy to see, as was being able to present the irresistible textures, patterns and colours of African fashion. We were also glad to hear from those who didn't have disposable income to spend right now that we are a brand they planned to remember for special occasions and investment pieces in the future. Making such wonderful connections with new and potential customers was one of the many brilliant results of our pop-up shop.
We'll be 'popping up' again
Our pop-up African clothing store was a first for Sika'a and definitely an experience we’ll be repeating. We discovered that physical retail spaces are an excellent medium for introducing people to something new and we're keen to make that an ever-evolving concept within our brand. We hope that everyone loved soaking up the ambience and we were delighted that it became a place to chat, browse, linger, shop and meet the people behind Sika'a, all whilst shining a spotlight on the beauty of African fashion. We'd like to thank John Lewis, The Great British Exchange and everyone who walked through our doors. In case you missed us this time, stay in touch and join us at the next Sika'a pop-up event!
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