Fisayo Longe is the founder of Kai Collective, a women’s clothing brand that is taking the fashion world by storm. She founded the direct-to-consumer e-commerce company in 2016 to provide independent women with unique collections with an African twist.
Born in the UK, Longe spent her childhood in Nigeria. She returned to London to finish high school and was admitted to study law at a university. However, she was unable to finish because she failed to get the required grades.
Longe was fortunate enough to get a six-month internship at KPMG and then spent his time traveling to Asia. Through her travels, she was inspired to start a fashion and travel blog. Upon returning to the UK, he was offered a full-time job at KPMG as an apprentice accountant, according to Forbes.
While at KPMG, she continued to post on her travel and fashion blog, in addition to her studies during the summer vacation. Her interest in fashion led her to accept a short-term contract with Liberty, a London-based fashion brand in merchandising in order to gain additional experience in the industry.
She then founded Kai Collective targeting the black community with a touch of African fashion. Longe owns 100% of his business, but has made community ownership a key part of his business strategy. She takes her clients’ feedback and incorporates it into her strategic decisions, and it has indeed paid off. According to Forbes, his income increased by half a million dollars, reaching $ 550,000.
“Our clothes make women feel great, but I don’t think we would be successful without our community building and our very clear message that prioritizes and uplifts women,” Longe told Forbes.
The majority of its clients are black women between the ages of 24 and 30 living in the US, UK, Australia and Nigeria. In addition to building a strong brand, Longe also influences many models and brands.
Prior to entering fashion, Longe had no connection to the industry. She had to rely on her 47,000 (now 122,000) Instagram followers to distribute her works. Her social media marketing paid off when a photo of her wearing a Kai dress at a BAFTA party went viral, according to Forbes.
Just as it was preparing to launch, the pandemic hit Asia, where its products were made. This delayed production, but requests for the outfit were not submitted.
As many Asian economies recovered from the pandemic, Longe launched the iconic ‘Gaia Dress’ in April 2020 and it sold out almost immediately.
Made with a mesh fabric from another Nigerian brand owned by women, Grapes Pattern, the Gaia dress, according to Native, is “a colorful swirl of textures and patterns that is specially designed for each wearer, as no two Gaia dresses are alike, and this was done in an effort to reduce wasted fabric and resources.” during the production process. ”
The dress attracted media attention to the Longe brand and has since been featured on Elle and Vogue. Her brand was also mentioned in Beyonce’s yearbook of Black Owned Everything.