For many years, the fashion industry marketed to customers’ insecurities. However, as fashion at large reckons with calls for inclusivity and representation, D’IYANU is an African-inspired clothing brand that is committed to celebrating their customers at every step.
D’IYANU combines traditional African-inspired prints with modern shapes for a unique collection of bold, versatile clothing. Nigerian-born, American-raised CEO Addie Elabor founded the brand after completing her master’s degree in international marketing. While unable to find a job in marketing, she realized she had interest in the nostalgic prints of her youth. Inspired by the bold patterns found in traditional West African clothing, she merged the past with the present to create her own line of clothes to suit her contemporary style.
D’IYANU designs African clothing that makes their customers feel like Elabor did: at home. Her background inspired her to celebrate all kinds of people, so her clothes help to share the vibrancy of traditional prints with a new generation.
A commitment to the community
When Elabor launched D’IYANU in 2014 from her Studio Apartment in Philadelphia, she wanted to choose a name that reflected her celebratory brand vision and the blending of cultures. She combined the French “d’,” which means “of” or “from,” with the Yoruba word “iyanu,” which means “miracle” or “wonderful.” Together, D’IYANU means “of miracles,” which serves as an affirmation for their customers.
Clothes from D’IYANU are vessels for self-expression. Elabor founded the brand to express the different, unique parts of herself — and to inspire others to do the same. To D’IYANU, creating value in the community is about being a voice for positivity and celebrating diversity.
At D’IYANU, the customer comes first. As the company has grown, it has continued to streamline and simplify, prioritizing customer service and communication. Their community-first attitude aims to uplift and empower their buyers at every step, from the purchasing process to the way they feel in their clothes.
Leaning into their uniqueness
Since the beginning, founder Addie Elabor has been all about leaning into her uniqueness. When she quit her job to pursue D’IYANU full time, many people were skeptical. However, her unwavering sense of self has resonated with her growing customer base, who appreciate her clothes and what she stands for.
But she isn’t doing it alone. Her brother Dara asked to join the brand at the beginning of 2016 though she was a bit skeptical, she now feels “it has turned out to be a blessing.” Addie considers herself a business woman more than a designer and manages the finance, marketing, and production side of things, while her brother manages operations at their close to 7,000 sq-ft space.
Like the clothes themselves, their business style combines the best of both worlds: their shared vision and experiences help them keep the company focused on its mission, while also offering their different perspectives.
A core part of D’IYANU’s community-driven mission is giving back. While they aim to be a positive force in the community with their clothing, the company also directly supports causes that align with their values. To date, they’ve given over $60,000 collectively towards the development of Black and Brown communities.
For Juneteenth in 2020, D’IYANU launched their Resort Collection and donated 19% of their total sales to the National Society of Black Engineers, which provides scholarships to Black engineering students, and the Equal Justice Initiative, which supports the legal teams that work to make the justice system fairer.
True to their global mindset, they also make quarterly donations to organizations in Africa. After reaching out to their customers to learn what causes and organizations they were passionate about, D’IYANU donated to various community-minded organizations across the world, like Amref Health Africa and Charity Water. Locally, they support their community in Philadelphia through an ongoing partnership with the Boys & Girls Club.
Something for everyone
As part of their mission to be inclusive and to celebrate all people, D’IYANU offers a wide range of styles in a wide range of sizes. As more and more brands work towards size inclusivity, D’IYANU is ahead of the curve. Their clothing is manufactured in plus sizes to make sure everyone feels confident in their look.
They also celebrate connection and coming together in their His, Hers & Kids collections — so whether you’re taking a family photo or looking for a unique couple look, they have you covered. Even their accessories are made for any gender, so anyone and everyone can look and feel like their boldest self.
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