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May 23, 2015

Departure for Paris & Arrival in fashionable Africa

Photo’s: courtesy of LAETITIA SABITI

Moonlook celebrates its anniversary in style by inviting customers on a trip to fashionable Africa while shopping at the Parisian pop-up store.

The French-African online fashion store Moonlook celebrates its first birthday with a second edition of their pop-up concept “Escales Africaines” at Paris. As she treats customers to delicious chocolate birthday cake and spicy tamarind juice, founder Nelly Wandji does not only celebrate the one-year anniversary of Moonlook, but also the growth of upcoming African fashion brands.

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MOONLOOK, MOONTOUCH, MOONBUY

Moonlook was originally founded on the observation that many African fashion brands don’t get the opportunity to evolve and reach the great potential they’re entitled to. Most of the creations by these brands aren’t even accessible in Europe. Following the latest fashion trends within Africa and its diaspora, Nelly thought of it as a shame:

There was this need for a concept, a sort of boutique to give these brands and designers the visibility they need. And so we created Moonlook. A concept online store that up until now yearly takes the form of a pop-up shop in which we invite several African designers to present their latest collection. A shop in which customers can finally see, touch and even buy the items of these collections that seemed until recently inaccessible.”

However, Moonlook isn’t solely an online shop and offline pop-up store. Nelly and her team approached the concept rather global and made it their mission to help designers with the professionalization of their brand:

We offer designers extra services to increase their visibility by initiating contacts with press agencies and publishing their collections in our Moonlook magazine. It’s by telling their story that we help them to structure the business around their brand.”

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BUY LESS, CHOOSE WELL, MAKE IT LAST

Moonlook distinguishes itself from others in the current fashion industry by its vision. A vision that might have been inspired by a quote from Vivian Westwood: buy less, choose well, make it last.

We’re against overconsumption. We don’t sell large quantities of 10 dollar T-shirts for which the person who created it only receives 1. Our products cost more, but you gain more from it as well. Which is quality, sustainability and knowing that the money you’ve spent on that beautiful Dutch wax dress contributes to the further development of the person who created it and the economy of the country in which it was produced. We almost exclusively collaborate with designers that work with local African craftsmen. More than 80% of the products in our Moonlook shop were produced in Africa.”

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 FROM PARIS TO AFRICA

Located at Le Marais this pop-up store finds itself in the middle of the most vivid and cosmopolitan quarter of Paris. As customers from different ethnicities leave the shop with at least one shopping bag in each hand, Moonlook proofs that the interest for African fashion isn’t limited to its original continental borders.

For the opening of the first edition of our  pop-up event, we were searching for a name that perfectly sums up our concept and invites people to look at Africa differently. Escales Africaines clearly does the job. The designers we work with represent different African countries. Thus we have AWL-AWALE and Laurence Airline who represent the Ivory Coast, AAKS who finds its origins in Ghana and Doreen Moshika who’s from Zanzibar. So having these clothing and accessory collections in our shop, we can let customers discover Africa in other ways they are used to. We let them take-of in Paris and have several intermediate landings in Africa. From Ghana to Senegal and all the other African countries represented in our shop.”

Feeling adventurous? You can still visit the shop till the 7th of June. Check www.moon-look.com for the agenda. Safe travels! 


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