The Legal Side Of Fashion

Equity. Share holding. Ownership. Phantom stock. These are some business terms that has to do with finance. Fashion, like every other business thrives on finance. To really understand the legalities involved with owning and dividing a business, Mrs Jane Maguegbuna, a legal practitioner and the co-founder of Afrinolly was invited to share her personal story.

She began with the quote from Peter Drucker: “wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

Starting from when you wake up in the morning, you make a conscious decision to either get out of bed or remain in bed; workout or not; go to work or not. Every decision you make adds up to where you end up. So, it is very crucial that you make decisions that reflect where you see yourself and the goals you’ve set for yourself. Most times, these decisions are difficult and they’re not fun but they have to be made.


Equity and Share holding

Who holds what?
What percentage is fair?
How do you determine percentage?
Should you keep a reserve equity?

Equity is shared in a company as follows CEO – CTO – COO, where CEO gets the largest number of shares.

Mrs Jane Maduegbuna’s advice: at first 10% may not seem like a big deal but further down the line, you will come to see the benefit of just that amount of shares. Be careful how much shares you give away and to whom.

Types Of Employee Equity

Direct Ownership

Synthetic equity/Phantom stock: Stock Appreciation Right [SAR]. This case, you still own the stock but this helps create loyalty. As the stock value of the company rises, so those the equity share, gains more value.

Also contributing is Mr Oluwaseun Ajasa, Managing Partner ATC Legal.

Register your business name, trademark your products and always seek legal counsel on any document.

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Mr Sunesis’s Guide To Business Branding

Chuks Ogene (Sunesis), is a creative entrepreneur (one who makes creative ideas profitable). He is known for his endeavours in design, fine art, brand communication, creative/art directing, fashion photography among others.

On the four brand quadrants to know where your business lies and how to effectively brand it are:

High Intellectual
These are products that are highly needed like drugs, technology etc. Customers are drawn to these products because they need them and are willing to pay a lot of money for them.

Mr Sunesis with project manager Ms Uju [left] and Mrs Blessing, Founder 360 Creative Hub [right].
High Emotional
These are products that are not really needed but wanted. The products are primarily luxurious and expen

sive. Examples include: Versace, Apple etc.

Low intellectual

These are products that are needed but also not expensive like notepads, pen etc.
Low emotional
These are products that are neither expensive nor needed, they include Limca drink, Zara brand etc.

To effectively brand your company, ask yourself these questions:
What is it about?
Why should you do it?
How do I make it happen?
Where/who will t impact?

You also need to keep in mind that to design you need to go through a series of processes beginning with learning, asking questions, thinking before finally applying.

Mr Sunesis with some of the students
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Rufai Oseni: “Failing Is Not Necessarily A Bad Thing”

The fashion industry is encompassed with glamour but beyond the red carpet, the five-minute runway shows and photo shoots is an industry that needs funds to run just like any other.

Taking a peak behind the curtain, one would see that a lot of fashion entrepreneurs sway towards the creative part of the industry and neglecting the business side of it – which is the most important if you want to have a sustainable business.

Rufai Oseni speaking to the students.

To educate the young fashion enthusiasts is Rufai Oseni; a broadcaster with over 15 years of experience, an author and an all-round business man.

“Entrepreneurship is moving from one venture to another, consistently failing but without losing your sense of enthusiasm,” Mr Oseni said. He emphasized on the importance of not being afraid to fail because failing when starting a business is almost a guarantee.

Rufai Oseni

“Timing is everything.” Mr Oseni gave examples of some technology that would have been rejected if they actually came decades earlier. To break into your market, one must know when to do so.

On innovation, he gave a few sources where an entrepreneur can get one, with the primary focus being the customers. Watching trends, peer review and branding also being on the list.

After speaking extensively on the business side of fashion or any other business, he ended the session by giving a piece of advice: “business is a rational venture that needs an emotional fuel.”

Rufai Oseni
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