Rwanda: Moshions, Rwanda's Top Design Brand Eyes Global Shoppers

Fashion house Moshions may be celebrating five years of positioning itself as a household luxury brand in Rwanda, but the dream of the people behind the culturally-inspired brand is to reach every part of the world.

That dream, to be realised through having a strong presence online, has now come to life with the unveiling of its e-commerce platform.

According to Dany Rugamba, the Business Manager at Moshions, the development is a great milestone.

"This is a significant time for the business. It's one of those moments you look back and say, the business is growing," he told The New Times in an exclusive interview on Monday.

As the company grows and improves, he adds; "We have to make sure that we serve not just the local market but also the international market in the most effective way."

Rugamba pointed out that with the demand growing beyond the domestic market, it is a demonstration of growth.

The online store comes at a time the brand has locally become more popular for dressing high-end buyers like chief executive officers, senior public figures and top government officials.

"We spent time designing the (online shopping) platform we think will be of use for everyone across the world," Rugamba said of the new e-commerce platform.

Buyers in any part of the world can now order and get Moshions brand pieces delivered to their doorsteps.

The online store has everything from men's and women's wear to accessories, which come in different designs.

They say they have started receiving orders from as far as North America, Asia, and Europe.

Moshions specialize in custom-made clothes, ready to wear, and traditional attire, mostly made out of Imigongo motifs (a popular traditional art made using cow dung and includes spiral and geometric designs).

A luxury brand

Moshions' big idea is to create a culturally inspired luxury brand that has roots in Rwanda as well as Africa.

"Looking at that, we wanted to advance brand awareness and we realized we can do that through online shopping," the business manager noted.

The brand received backlash last week when it unveiled its online store, with many people accusing them of setting exorbitant prices for clothes that they think are not supposed to be expensive.

The fashion business says this is the same feedback they received from the beginning, and they dispute the claims saying they are from a misinformed perspective.

"Our pricing strategy is not based on what people may think," Rugamba said. "We take real factors into consideration, we have to look at the product value, the work that is involved, and even what the brand is and what it has been able to accomplish."

A typical process of producing a high-quality Moshions brand shirt, for instance, will involve a series of work including design, sometimes which will see the designer create a completely different custom print fabric that is not available in any market.

Beyond that, they believe the concept of something being expensive is selfish and entitlement, because as Rugamba noted, someone who cannot afford a cloth will automatically say something is expensive even when there are many others who can afford it.

"There is nothing affordable in this world, something may be relatively affordable because of the preferences, and the resources that you have, but it doesn't mean it is affordable to everyone else," he argued.

Globally, the luxury industry is a brand driven industry.

Dany Rugamba, Business Manager at Moshions. Moshions has unveiled its online store, targeting to go global. Courtesy.

People buy luxury goods such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior because they trust and appreciate the brand.

More than any other category, premium goods and services are driven by their brand's perception and popularity.

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