Shop Oasis NYC - The Brand Story
Posted on December 17 2015
Shop Oasis NYC has been Clara's passion and calling for years. The rough outlines of the idea have been forming in my mind for over 9 years, after spending many months in Africa, East and Southern Africa specifically I amassed a healthy accessory and fashion collection. I was always being asked where I got this and that, and the answer was always Africa, with a blank stare. It was nearly impossible for me to tell someone - even someone familiar with the country - this necklace is from this small artisan booth on the side of the road or this dress was made by a tailor. It happened again and again. And there was no way for me to direct any one back to where I got these amazing pieces. And for this reason, Shop Oasis NYC was born.
Most recently on a trip to Kenya, I got inspired to go back to this idea and really put some of the knowledge I had amassed over the years to bring this idea to life. I have spent years getting an education in Fashion from FIT to working for such fashion powerhouses such as Coach and Vince Camuto.
I choose the name Oasis, because of the Sahara Desert. The Sahara Desert has been used for years as a geo-political demarkation, and it cuts across the entire continent. The Oasis within the desert many moons ago, before colonization and arbitrary borders, was the life giving spot, where as a nomadic traveller you stopped for refreshment. It was there that ideas and culture were exchanged in the form of stories and transactions were conducted with merchandise not money. One culture was transferred to the next person or group there in the Oasis.
The Oasis was one of the first marketplaces. So Shop Oasis NYC draws upon that inspiration as we create a digital marketplace, to provide a place for the hundreds of thousands of African Brands and Designers that are designing one of a kind products to be able to transact with the world.
I have teamed up with Tosin Dinah, a fashion professional with over 12 years experience to create our flagship location in Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos is veritable Fashion Powerhouse on the continent, with many established and nascent brands. These brands have such strong design points of view, that are reflected in their impeccable products. We hope you continue to learn something about Africa and fashion through shopping on our platform.
Our future blog posts will focus on the Designers and brands we carry. Join us on this journey to expose the world to the fashions that walk down the streets of every city and village in every African country.
Feel free to email me for more information or to introduce a brand to the platform, or just to chat. You will find me in one of the many coffee houses of NYC working. I'm always looking for more information and knowledge, as well as new fashion points of view. I'm wearing an Okiki Marinho original in my photo, and shop her exclusive collection here on our site!