Vibrant Prints, Deep Connections

Playful textiles evoke memories of Lagos, Nigeria.

By Venus Austin

Ladi Fatade 07Ox 09C and his sister, Abi, missed the “playful vibrancy” of the textiles they saw growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. From this desire to merge their hometown’s vibrancy with the industrial aesthetic of their new home in New York, their clothing line EseNYC, was born in the summer of 2014.

This family-owned business crafts handmade clothing and accessories "that showcase the wonderful and intricate prints of West Africa," Fatade explains. "We believe in comfortable, cool and quality garments that we produce in Brooklyn, New York." The company's mission stems from the sibling duo's gratitude. He adds, "We're grateful for the opportunities life has given us and we know it wouldn't have been possible without education and the love and support of our parents. We would like to help others achieve their dreams as well through education, and we hope we can help change as many lives as we can."

With a firm commitment to creating exciting fashion, Fatade and his sister capitalized on their individual strengths to launch their growing business.

Pop-Up Fashion, Enduring Style

EseNYC was strategically revealed to the world through a pop-up store in New York City. “We think pop-ups are always a good idea, especially if they are catered because you can combine eating and drinking with a shopping experience. Also, it gives the people who are less inclined to shop online an opportunity to see your merchandise in person,” Fatade explains. 

With a pop-up shop under its belt and the launch of an e-commerce site, esenyc.com, EseNYC continues to grow and expand its reach across the United States. Fatade notes that the ultimate long-term goal for Ese NYC is to be sold in retail stores throughout NYC and California with a special target of landing in department stores like Barneys. "With the success of the pop-up shop and general buzz about the clothing line, that goal appears to be imminent with continued hard work and support."

Promotion is critical to furthering brand recognition. The partners have continued to get the word out about EseNYC by working with media outlets and bloggers alike. A recent Kickstarter campaign will be renewed to launch a second collection of EseNYC. 

Roots in Entrepreneurship

Ladi Fatade embraced entrepreneurship early as the co-founder of 101 App Inc., an app that allows students to communicate and collaborate with each other through a private network. “Grassroots marketing was one of the main strategies that we employed at 101 and it allowed me to be confident enough to sell our ideas to complete strangers on different campuses. I use the experience I gained presenting to college organizations when I'm talking to editors, buyers, bloggers, and others,” Fatade explains.

The other half of the sibling duo that makes up EseNYC, Abi Fatade, is a NYC attorney.  “My sister and I learn from one another," Ladi Fatade says. "She's an attorney so she's very detail oriented and thorough. I'm a copywriter and my strengths lie in being creative and persuasive. We determine our tasks based on natural skill sets." Their different career paths and industries will foster the growth and development of EseNYC.

Differing work styles also help fuel personal growth. “Through the experience of working together I believe I've become more thorough and she's discovered her more creative side,” Fatade says. “The one thing we've always had in common is an eye for fashion, which is the most important thing when you’re running a fashion line."

Editor's Note: EseNYC is on trend for spring with vibrant colors and African inspired tribal prints. For more information on EseNYC, be sure to visit esenyc.com and their various social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Michelle Valigursky