Luxury brands must balance aspiration with authenticity to future-proof local strategies.
As Africa becomes a key growing market for luxury brands, global companies must balance aspiration with authenticity to future-proof local strategies. Despite high inequality, South Africa has long been considered a bastion of wealth in Africa. Luxury brands see it as an established market for high-end goods.
As wealth outside of South Africa grows, fashion houses and other luxury producers are looking to reach this largely untapped market. But while high-end consumers tend to be more resilient to economic shocks than most, the slowdown in emerging markets is being felt by luxury retailers globally. Analysts predict a corresponding slowdown of expansion into African markets.
It should not come as a surprise that luxury retailers have increased their outlets in Africa. There are now around 16,000 millionaires in Nigeria, 50,000 in South Africa, 6,500 in Angola. Other markets are expected to expand at pace.
As the demand for luxury goods increases, so too does the demand for quality and innovation in the industry. The African market is no longer satisfied with any old suit, house or car—they want something that stands out from the crowd.
This means there are opportunities for anyone who wants to deliver quality and luxury to this market. It also means that brands from Africa might start competing with some of the best known labels in the world.
The jewellery shop offers gemstones sourced from ethical sources across Africa, although no one claims so. It's the moment chosen by some nations to champion their own natural resources.
One of the most recent examples of this trend is Maison Septem, a luxury brand that is making waves in the world of technology accessories.
The company's founders are both African descendants who are passionate about art, design, and digital technology. They have focused on sourcing their basic materials from within Africa—an exceptional feat for a young company in today's global economy.
By creating products with high added value and quality materials, they are challenging the microsociety of luxury and technology while creating exceptional works of art for their clients.
The use of eco-responsible materials from the black continent remains an absolute priority for these two passionate about art, design, and digital technology. By creating exceptional works of art for their clients, Maison Septem wants to take the electronic devices and accessories customization to another level.
However, the continent needs to have a more sustainable growth as well—one thing is for sure: Africa never ceases to amaze us!