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Folu Oyefeso

Ready-to-wear fashion: A La Mariposa story 🦋

La Mariposa was borne out of an idea. An idea that people can easily get ready-to-wear African clothing that exudes confidence. "Mariposa" is Spanish for "butterfly", a point to one's metamorphosis, an internal development that you can wear on the outside, and showcase your brightest form.

The afri long dress by la Mariposa
The Afri long dress

The idea was a simple one but it wasn't perfect. Everyone knows the back and forth between tailors isn‘t the most efficient practice, and clothes people could easily pick up from stores would be greatly received. The idea eliminated the risk of tailors not having your clothes ready in time for an event, and opening clients up to a world of great options.

With every idea, issues abound and the brand soon learnt that sizing, marketing and choice of fabrics were a lot more complicated than initially anticipate. These needed to be worked on in order to grow.

The La Mariposa Dress
The La Mariposa Dress

They took an inward look and in the process of hammering the idea towards perfection gained some insight. The gaps between the standard sizing charts and Afrocentric bodies needed to be closed, while a lot more market research needed to be done. The model also had to be tweaked to accommodate more comfortable fabrics.

The brand got to work and put a system in place for making sure the outfits are perfect for it's customers. They employed standby tailors for the outfits that needed adjustments and though not the perfect solution, it has gone far in closing that gap. This has resulted in a slightly more flexible system and thus more satisfied customers.

Omolola adire romper by la Mariposa
The Omolola Adire Romper

With regards to the marketing, La Mariposa had to figure out who their customers really were. The initial idea was to have the brand cater to all demographics, but this soon proved to be a strain on resources. Rather, they decided to cater to a more select group and focus on making items that were more in line with that demographic and at a much higher quality level. It didn't take long before these efforts begun to show results. Customers appreciated the newer designs and the brands efforts towards improving quality.

Finally, with regards to comfort, the team had to make a critical decision. The softer and more comfortable fabrics like Adire and silk cost more and this would reflect in the brands prices and marketing. Comfortable clothing for customers ranks higher in the brands service offerings and so it had to be done!

atlanta johnson in the alafia oversized dress by la mariposa
The Alafia Oversized Dress

With these in mind, La Mariposa got to work and gave themselves a new look, one that better reflects who they are and allows them to serve their customers better.

Keeping things very close to home ranks high on their priority list and all items are made by locally employed tailors with fabrics produced in Nigeria. All these things are in line with the company's ideals to inspire, uplift and encourage all they come in contact with. Nothing is ever perfect, but with consistent work and attention to details, things get better.

Beyond fashion, they produce all kinds of uniforms (school, factory and security) and home accessories for corporate gifts, etc.

Visit their website at or you can check out their Instagram @lamariposa_ng.

Model - Atlanta Johnson.



Lere Baale
Lere Baale
Aug 19, 2021

Professional well balanced reviews.

Aug 22, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Sir!


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