Afua Rida is an iconic fashion stylist and consultant, blogger and, runway show producer. She is definitely one of the finest young entrepreneurs in Ghana’s fashion industry that have made a mark for themselves. She got into the fashion space when it was yet unpopular in the country. With her relentless efforts, she has carved a niche for herself that has grown into an enviable brand today.
Afua Rida believes Ghana’s fashion industry has the potential of blossoming into a multi-million dollar craft. “I am very passionate about fashion globally and in Ghana, where the industry is developing at speedy rates.” Her love for fashion was nursed from girlhood by admiring her mother’s fashion sense. “Growing up, I first fell in love with fashion by watching my mother’s fashion process. Her style was classy, yet effortless. The bold jewelry pieces, the pencil heels, and vibrant colour and prints. I never understood the process until my undergrad years in college. It was never about having current pieces with my mother it really was all about her personal style. The intrigue turned into curiosity, which became a passion, which has now become my life.”
Influenced a lot by her mother’s fashion taste and the African culture, Afua’s style is evidently unique and admirable. “I adapted elements of my mother’s process influenced by my Ghanaian culture and global fashion, to create my own process.” She boldly feels Africa does really inspire fashion globally with our bold colours and patterns, tribal prints and irregular shapes. “Our fashion industry is growing rapidly and serves as inspiration to the global fashion landscape albeit unintentional.”
It is no secret that Afua Rida built her following on social media through her Instagram, Twitter, and blog: styledbyrida.com as a medium to spread her fashion influence across the globe. Today 27% of the global population uses a social media channel—and the majority of people who work in the fashion industry use them all! Fashion and social media are entwined; from stylists and photographers, to brands and designers, models, to customers and consumers. People share images of their favorite shoots on Instagram and tweet their opinions on the latest fashion news.
The fashion industry uses social media to promote brands. Instagram especially, the most visual of social networks, has tapped into the fashion world’s ecosystem and become an integral part of the conversation. And because it’s so integral, social media has become totally necessary for any new brand starting out in the industry who want to promote themselves.
Without huge advertising budgets for ad campaigns and PR, Afua Rida stuck to social media to share her work and over time she has gained the recognition deserved. She leveraged social media to gain a voice as a stylist and fashion consultant by building trust with her consumers and fans as well. Today the fashion consumer wants to know the story behind the product they are buying, and social media has given brands the perfect tool to tell them. The global reach is also an added advantage since the internet is everywhere hence you can reach as many people as possible.
Of course, social media is not all roses and two-way conversations. Brands meticulously need to plan their output to capture new followers and maintain their current fans’ obsessive double tapping and this comes with a lot of hard work. For Afua Rida, she has to constantly be on the lookout for new trends that will interest her followers and spend long hours coming up with new concepts and campaigns for fashion brands—a lot of it is about driving up revenue. “I am basically a walking ad agency. I think up campaigns, bring them to life and then present them to the target audience. I do this for fashion and life style brands and social media has been a great tool in my line of work.”