Dennis Osadebe - The Man Behind D&D Clothing
Its time for African Fashion to take over the world
Dennis Osadebe is a founder and CEO of International African Fashion brand D&D Clothing, who, by developing his brand around the image of an elite African lifestyle, built one of the most successful fashion empires. Dennis grew up in Nigeria and during his last classes in school in the evening was selling second hand clothes. While working at the market, he was inspired to begin designing his own T-shirts, and styling the clothes for clients, in order to sell more. His creativity didn't know the limits and he started styling second hand clothes mixed with ankara fabrics, to create a uniqueness.
But the life of an entrepreneur is not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of roadblocks one might face while building an empire from scratch. Start travelling from early age and living in different parts of the world, Dennis Osadebe's vision of his future was growing bigger and bigger.
Despite going through this tough phase, Dennis Osadebe kept himself motivated and worked towards his goal of becoming successful. He worked in different places until he started his first own business. Dennis Osadebe loves to tell a story about his entertainment company. Making his own movies, recording the music, it's a creativity that gives him too much joy. Created more than 500 movies in Nigeria, the industry was facing problems with dresses and designs of the actors which lacked uniqueness. Dennis can never sit when new ideas comes, and he got a chance to travel to Dubai and explore new market. "Dubai is not easy city to start your company, specially movie equipment is too expensive, and I was not ready for this" - Dennis Osadebe says. After a couple of months of hustling in Dubai and losing hope in Arab fairytail, he almost came back home to Nigeria. All people around him didn't really understand why he needs to start over again if he can continue his career in filmmaking. "Sometimes you feel that you have reached the peak, and you need more for yourself. You see yourself higher, bigger, with new challenges and goals, bigger dreams. There is the whole world open for you, why do you need to sit in one place?" - Dennis is saying. That was one of the hardest period in his life, And he drew a profound lesson from the experience: “I believed in myself.”
Starting with 1 stitching machine at his house in Dubai, he started creating his designs from Ankara fabrics. Market in Dubai is very huge for tailoring services as there are so many African people who work there. That's how Dennis Osadebe became the first person who offers tailoring services for Africans in all Emirates. The demand grew very fast and after 3 month already he rented his office with 10 sewing machines and hired tailors from different countries to pay attention to quality.
From the inception of his brand, Dennis’s creations were characterized by a style that evoked the look of African heritage. This brand has been a game changer in his life as it has become his first 7-figure clothing company with a massive reach of people who like african fashion all round the world. Besides this, he owns several other brands and has made his investments in several ventures.
While talking about his success as an entrepreneur, he said, "As a kid, I always wondered what made me distinct from others. I discovered the fact of how to make money through different sources. I had no guaranteed business and whatever I have achieved today is because of the mistakes I have earlier made and the people I have met in my life." The versatile businessman has his businesses spread all over the world and he is saying: “ Now it’s time for Africa”.
Dennis’s vision appealed to a wide spectrum of people, and his label quickly turned into an empire. Seeing how his clothing was associated with a certain lifestyle, with african touch, he gained recognition in Middle east and Europe, and now, he is coming back to Africa to establish his own production center and give back all knowledge and style to his home. He opened a manufacturing center in Kenya, Nairobi which became the main distributing place for all East Africa. Coming to Kenya during Covid-19 time was the harder in his business lifetime. No-one has expected and believed that the situation that we are now can ever happen in our world. It hit all businesses and D&D Clothing was among it.
Changing the offline business to online in 2 month was the right step in this period, considering that 85% of D&D Clothing customers are from USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. Right now brand is offering custom made services in Kenya like wedding or evening gowns or outfits for ladies and gentlemen from the highest quality fabrics. Right now company is booked for exclusive wedding gowns and suits till February 2022 and Dennis Osadebe is proud that we can give such a quality to African market, and its made in Kenya. The company is working on increasing the export of the made in Kenya clothing to the world, and they finally shifted all brand production from United Arab Emirates to Kenya.
Apart from the fact that he is new in Kenya, and not many people know about his brand in this part of the world, in 1 year he has already reached 7 countries. The company helps other entrepreneurs in the fashion field to grow and become representative of his international brand in their own region. As you can become the official part of the whole organization, and they will support you with all documents, products, store design and give you official right to distribute the D&D Clothing products. “To become our official representative is a big joy for every entrepreneur, as they join not only a company, they become a part of African Fashion Movement” - says the owner of D&D Clothing.
We should mention the fact, that D&D Clothing is making their own fabrics. Dennis Osadebe makes sure, that its not just stylish, but every print has its own story about african history. "I want to change the mindset of people, that everything we produce in Africa - its not quality. Yes, we do lack the training, but how can I expect excellent finishing from my tailors in Kenya, if they were not taught so? If their mother, or teacher has the same quality as her, how can we expect to give something that we don't have? So it's not their mistake, it was there for decades. So now its time for us to travel out there, to learn from the best, and bring back to our country." - Dennis Osadebe is saying. And thats true, he brought 18 expats to Kenya, to train and teach local tailors the quality and standards their brand needs.
Training and teaching people takes a very big part of Dennis's Osadebe job. The company was invited to take part in different NGO programs in Kenya, where they help single moms to improve their stitching skills , earn money for their living in tailoring field and the company gives employment to the best hardworking people who would like to grow with company. D&D Clothing has created a fashion courses to learn all fundamental information about how to start your own fashion brand, how to understand a difference between fabrics, fashion seasons and shows. Students after the course can build their own fashion brand and they are showing very great results. D&D Clothing help them to produce their designs and sell it.
Dennis Osadebe believes in the collaborative efforts of all creative people in Africa. They partner with photographers, makeup artists, models and other professionals, with who they create the best fashion projects and campaigns. Among his numerous awards were the World Fashion Awards, where he took 3rd place as African Designer among whole countries in the world. D&D Clothing took part in more than 15 fashion shows so far and they do not plan to stop. In their schedule already London and Los Angeles Fashion Week for African fashion.
In his plans right now, is to open as many branches all over Africa as possible, and to make sure that the whole world is wearing made in Africa designs.
“Fashion is not what you wear, it is what you feel, wearing a brand. And wearing D&D Clothing you feel on top on the world” - says Owner of the company.
And now Dennis Osadebe has earned every right to be enjoying a successful way to a victory lap, and watch how his company conquers the world.