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From Kyushu, Japan! Nigerian Clothing Made to Order, Spreading Nationwide via SNS Housewives in Oita Prefecture Overcome the Blow of the Weakening Yen and Held an Exhibition in Tokyo for Three Days from June 14, 2024, Exhibition to be held in Tokyo for 3 days from June 14, 2024

ギャラリーカフェ ジョルジュ

Gallery Cafe Georges (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo) will hold an exhibition of rare fabrics directly imported from Nigeria from June 14 to June 16, 2024. This Nigerian fabric import project was started by a housewife living in Hita City, Oita Prefecture, with Nigerian youth through SNS. The bold patterns and vivid colors of these fabrics have been tailored into not only clothes but also Japanese kimonos by up-and-coming designers living in Oita Prefecture, and orders from all over the country via SNS are increasing.

Crazy Momonga Blouse" by Oita Prefecture designers

The first encounter with Nigerian cloth was made with bamboo chopsticks in Hita.

Hatsumi Koseki, a housewife living in Hita City, Oita Prefecture, had been uploading pictures on Instagram of the rich natural scenery of her hometown and of herself eating with chopsticks. In the spring of 2021, a thank-you gift arrived at his home. In the summer of 2022, I made a skirt from the fabric and found it cool and comfortable. In September 2023, we opened a full-fledged business called "Ankara Tamo" and are currently purchasing from two local buyers. We are currently purchasing from two local buyers.

Conveying the value of cloth while worrying about the unstoppable depreciation of the yen.

I communicate with Awodeji, who has graduated from university and is now working for us as a payment manager, via SNS video phone. I continue to guide him in business matters, such as difficult bilateral remittances, transportation problems, and the accuracy of cloth handling and measurement. However, the most vexing issue is the weak yen. The exchange rate, which initially started at 115 yen to the dollar, has risen steadily, and as of May 2024, the exchange rate is 155 yen to the dollar. The price of the same piece of cloth is now more than 10,000 yen higher than before. Nigerian cotton has different textures depending on the manufacturing method, such as "Ankara" and "Kampala," and we also stock indigo-dyed "Adire," which is rare locally, to convey its diversity.

We have teamed up with creators in Kyushu to send our products to the rest of Japan.

With Nigerian cloth in tow, we drove across the prefecture to participate in exhibitions and marche to spread the word to many people, but it was difficult to gain the interest of the local women. However, a Western-style designer in Oita Prefecture fell in love with the fabric and was able to sign a contract with us. The fabric can be made into Japanese clothes, and is now being used as a one-of-a-kind custom-made product that can be tailored to different looks depending on the pattern.

The designers who used to say they didn't like African fabrics were now saying that Nigerian fabrics are different. He told us that the use of this cloth has led to an increase in orders and more than doubled sales. We also connected with a kimono stylist in Saga Prefecture. I would like to send the message from Kyushu about Nigerian cloth and the way it can revitalize people's lives."

In 1965, the Japanese government established a spinning factory (Arewa Spinning) in Nigeria as a pioneer of ODA and provided technical assistance (the company later withdrew due to civil strife).

I would like to talk about the background of such fabrics at the exhibition," he said. Eventually, I would like to set up an office in Nigeria to serve as a bridge between Nigeria and Japan.

Hatsumi Koseki (left) and the store owner

Nigerian Cloth Ankara Tamo Exhibition Details

Date & Time : June 14, 15, 16, 11:00 - 17:00 each day

Place : Gallery Cafe Georges

    3-36-29 Soshigaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo TEL 03-6411-4333

    3 min. walk from Soshigaya-Okura Station on Odakyu Line

Contents :Exhibition and sale of Nigerian fabrics made by "Ankara Tamo" in Hita City, Oita Pref.

    Sundries and ready-made goods are also available. One order of food and beverage is requested.

(Also used for costumes for a band that performed live in Hita City)

<Outline of Gallery Cafe Georges

Established: April 24, 2012

Representative: Mayumi Mori

Location: 3-36-29-2F Soshigaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo


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