Andrea Iyamah, the visionary Nigerian designer, has achieved another milestone in her illustrious career with the opening of a second brick-and-mortar location in the heart of New York City. This expansion stands as a testament to her profound impact on the fashion landscape, crafting pieces that authentically resonate with women.
The new store feels like a Nigerian getaway, adorned with modern printed chairs and ample open space for browsing the meticulously curated clothing and accessories. Visitors embraced the opportunity to purchase items and try on clothes, and the prevailing sentiment was one of awe – “This is amazing.”
The store’s layout features a lounging area at the back, complete with a large woven rug and mannequins showcasing swimwear, artisanal fringe, and plissé sculptural dresses.
This strategic move to open a second store in New York City, a global fashion hub, underscores Iyamah’s rising influence in the industry and her thoughtful, intentional approach to business. Notably, a significant portion of her online orders originates from New York, justifying the decision to establish a physical storefront in Manhattan.
Iyamah, a painter at heart, demonstrates her strategic thinking by conducting thorough research on the best places to open a store. Her brand’s authentic ethos aligns with the diverse and art-appreciative community of the city.
While this achievement is remarkable for a Black woman in the fashion industry, Iyamah is already contemplating the next steps. Beyond New York City, she envisions expanding to Los Angeles, Miami, and eventually Europe, viewing brick-and-mortar establishments as essential for people to touch, feel, and experience the brand.
Andrea Iyamah’s journey began in 2013, driven by a lack of representation of African designers in Canadian department stores where she grew up. Fueled by her passion for art and design, she fearlessly entered the world of fashion, starting with swimwear. Her designs, a fusion of modern styles and traditional African elements, have captivated women worldwide. In addition to her online shop, Iyamah’s creations are available at Revolve, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Moda Operandi.
Reflecting on her growth, Iyamah expresses gratitude for the women who have embraced her brand over the years. She sees the New York City storefront as just the beginning of something even greater, with plans for expansion to other cities and regions.
The opening night of the new store was a celebration of style and culture, with influencers Jeneé Naylor, Ash Forde, and Simi Muhumuz showcasing Iyamah’s vibrant pieces. The positive energy within the store encapsulated the joy and pleasure evoked by her distinctive clothing. The event featured Afrobeats and traditional Nigerian food, providing a well-curated experience for all attendees.
Iyamah emphasizes intention in her designs, with each fabric telling a story through extensive research on African cultures. She remains committed to designing with her Nigerian roots in mind, weaving actual African stories into her creations.
In an ever-changing fashion landscape, Andrea Iyamah stands as a beacon of longevity. From filling a gap in the resortwear market years ago to crafting pieces that resonate with both her and her customers today, her journey reflects resilience and wisdom gained over time.