Rendoll; For Every Woman, by Morenike 'Reni' Abina

Nigeria is home to many black-owned fashion brands and that base keeps expanding by the hour. One of such brands is Rendoll, a womenswear fashion brand based in Lagos. The brand which was founded in June 2019, is consistently making its mark as an exceptional and exquisite fashion line with a wide range of designs to its name.

I would like to see less of people viewing Nigerian-owned or black-owned as “cheaper” or “inferior”.

Taking excerpts from their website, “the brand is focused on femininity and body positivity and we do not conform to stereotypes.” Proof of this can be found in the attention-to-detail design of their timeless, stylish pieces, all tailored to perfection and at affordable prices.

We had a chat with fashion and beauty entrepreneur, Morenike Abina, founder of Rendoll, on the label, her vision for the brand and much more.

How did you start Rendoll?

Rendoll started a year ago and it was borne out of a desire to make fashionable pieces for myself and my friends as I had been struggling to find clothes that suited my taste and price point. So I came up with the idea to start a clothing brand to bridge this gap. Rendoll is formed from my name “Reni” and “Doll” which means to dress someone smartly or attractively.

Who is Rendoll designed for?

Rendoll is for every woman. It’s a creed of mine to make clothes that every woman can look beautiful and feel comfortable in regardless of size, physique, stature, etc. As such, we are constantly improving on our designs to make them more inclusive.

What makes a Rendoll?

A Rendoll is bold, confident and stylish.

What inspires your designs?

I’m really Inspired by the general fashion world around me. I follow a lot of fashionable people on social media. I’m inspired by how they put pieces together. I almost live on Pinterest and my mind is always putting bits and pieces of designs together. It’s really fun!

What form(s) of marketing has helped push the brand?

I am very grateful for social media because this is where I started Rendoll and it has helped me grow my clientele. Recently, I launched the Rendoll website to help the brand reach a more international clientele and I must say that it has really helped with exposure as well. Also, I have a lot of clients who I like to call “Rendolls” who have really helped with word-of-mouth and recommendations.

Does the city you are from influence your designs?

Well, I am from Lagos and I live in Lagos. It’s hot all year round, even when it’s raining. So I will say I haven’t really been boxed into the fashion of seasonal clothing that you will see a lot of international brands having to do. I’m able to make “summery clothes” all year round.

What are some of the challenges you face with running a clothing line?

This one is funny because where do I start? I can tell you for a fact that I never imagined it would be as stressful as it is. You face problems every step of the value chain. From sourcing fabrics locally which I’ve found difficult due to lack of quantities and lack of options, to dealing with tailors who are either unskilled or lack work ethic, to dealing with logistic companies who are not within your control but have the power to make or break your business. At every step, there is a challenge. But no business is without challenges and Rendoll has been very rewarding so I keep pushing and striving for greatness.

What do you find most rewarding?

This one is easy. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my clients happy in their outfits. Seeing them being confident in their style and wanting more!

What would you love to see more in the fashion industry?

I would love to see more plus sized models, more models that represent what the everyday woman actually looks like. In Nigeria for example, the average dress size is probably about a size 16? Why do most brands stop at size 16/18? That doesn’t sit well with me. What do you want plus sized people to wear?

What would you like to see less in the same regard?

I would like to see less of people viewing Nigerian-owned or black-owned as “cheaper” or “inferior”.

What can we expect from Rendoll in the future?

A worldwide known household name; the sky is just the beginning.

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