The Côte d’Ivoire Art de vivre and Beauty Festival aims to unite and develop growing sectors
Abidjan- In 2017, the Ipsos Social Research Institute carried out a study entitled “Women of Africa: a central driver of the African economy”. She found that fashion and beauty take second and third place in the list of what women in Côte d’Ivoire spend there in their disposable income, accounting for 14% and 13% of their budget respectively. this perspective that has emerged from the Festival of the Art of Living and Beauty (LSBF).
“The fashion, cosmetics and lifestyle sectors are quite large in the country, but still need to be organized. We realized that we had to create a framework to promote the development of these sectors that also takes into account the entire production chain, ”explains Agara Konan Yao, curator of the exhibition, to FashionUnited. He also notes that this initiative is unprecedented in the country: “traditionally, we see more fashion and cosmetic shows, but there has never been a parade that brings together fashion, cosmetics and well-being under one roof. Bringing all these actors together in the same space is a considerable challenge ”.
The LSBF took up this challenge on May 21, 22 and 23, 2021 at the Sofitel Hôtel Ivoire, one of the most prestigious places in the country. On a territory of more than 8,000 square meters where 3,800 square meters of shipping space are spread over three specific areas, more than 45 brands and companies come together to meet the public and professionals around workshops, round tables, stands and fashion shows.
One festival, two target audiences: consumers and professionals
“For this festival, we wanted to attract professionals from the worlds of fashion, beauty and the art of living. With their skills and expertise, it is important for them to get to know each other, to interact and perhaps even to develop new markets ”, explains the Commissioner. “At the same time, we also wanted to attract consumers. First of all, because they can thus meet professionals and benefit from the best advice and tips. They can also do good business, buy quality products and meet their needs and all in the same space ”.
In order to allow as many people as possible to benefit from these brands and professionals, the festival organizers have endeavored to make it accessible with an entrance fee of 2000 FCFA (the local currency) equivalent to 3.05 Euro for adults and 500 FCFA equivalent to 0.75 Euro for children from 7 to 12 years old. “By offering this price, we have the certainty that people who come to the LSBF will be able to make their purchases on site and enjoy the items offered on the stands and in the surrounding area from the show. in the most prestigious place of the square. The profits came from the sponsorship and the rental of the stand for the brands, but it should also be borne in mind that the income from the admissions was also considerable ”. A choice that turned out to be very profitable given the enormous response from visitors.
a total of 15,530 participants were registered during the three days of the event: On the opening day, Friday May 21, the LSBF welcomed 4,605 visitors. Saturday attracted the most people with a total of 6,220 visitors. On Sunday, the last day, a total of 4,705 people attended the event.
Attract as many people as possible thanks to… reality TV!
The communication group Voodoo and the Life TV channel are at the origin of the lifestyle and beauty festival. In order to attract as many people as possible to the festival, the two organizations have ingeniously decided to launch a reality TV show. The idea? Bring together four influencers from French-speaking Africa: Emma Lohoues with 2.7 million followers on Instagram, Coco Emilia with 2.2 million followers, Nathalie Koah who has 1.8 million and finally, Suy Fatem, former Miss Côte d ‘ Ivoire in 2018, with 350,000 followers. In addition to being influencers, these women are known for their commitments in the fashion and beauty sectors in Côte d’Ivoire for Emma Lohoues and Suy Fatem, and in Cameroon for Coco Emilia and Nathalie Koah. In connection with this show which mixes business, entrepreneurship and confrontations (like any good reality TV), the production team also succeeded in bringing the festival and the idea behind it to a large audience. Through each of their vast social media communities, it was possible to reach a considerable number of viewers who then became participants.
LSBF, what about for professionals?
Many big names in African and particularly Ivorian fashion responded to the announcement of the event. This was the case for the haute couture brand Wafa Couture, which always strives to be as close as possible to its customers: “The brand has existed for 16 years, even if we are known in the country, we still have a need. visibility. It is important to remind our customers that we are here and we exist. When a brand “makes noise”, it stays in the customer’s mind. If we don’t do this, even though we are doing a good job, there is a risk that our customers will forget about us. Communicating and staying in touch with our customers is essential, especially in the aftermath of this health crisis “, explains Wafa Sarkis, creator of the brand.
While many small and medium-sized businesses responded to the call, the organizers were also confronted with reluctant professionals: just as easy for the professionals themselves. They are oriented towards sales whereas trade fairs are traditionally places where products are presented. Professionals have a clear objective: immediate profitability. We had to hunt them down and convince them that many people with considerable purchasing power will be present. I have to say that was one of our biggest challenges. Some have chosen to watch this first part in the background and said to themselves that they would participate in the second, “notes Agara Konan Yao.
Has a date been set for 2022?
Following the success of this first section, the Commissioner is already announcing plans for the next section: “We are considering a second, larger section with even more representation of the entire value creation chain. We want to have more stands, more participants and more institutional involvement, especially from ministers. This year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade opened the show, but next year, we hope to be accompanied by other ministers, ”he concludes.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR, translated and edited in English.