It’s not uncommon to hear about big and tall brands and designers based in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, but what about the rest of the world? Meet ÀSSIÀN, a menswear brand based in Lagos, Nigeria making high quality, versatile pieces with sizes to 3XL since 2016.
The pieces the brand offers are fashion-forward, featuring colorful patterns, modern cuts, and designs you don’t often find available in extended sizes. The Dry 17/18 and the Volume 1 18/19 collections feel like something you’d see in a fashion magazine. The best part? You can actually wear them.
I talked to ÀSSIÀN Founder Matiu Gordon about creating the brand, plans to add more sizes and the story behind the name.
Chubstr: We don’t hear about many fashion brands in Africa catering to bigger men. What made you decide to start ÀSSIÀN?
Matiu Gordon: I started the line due to the difficulty in finding stylish clothes that considered larger body types in its design and construction. [ÀSSIÀN’s] inclusive nature was because I never liked when larger sizes were put in sort of a ‘ghetto.’ I wanted larger folks to have great clothing and others to appreciate great design.
Chubstr: What sizes does the line offer customers right now?
MG: We currently offer up to 3XL with our stockist and go larger with made to measure. We plan to expand our sizes to 6X later this year.
Chubstr: What is the fashion scene in Lagos like?
MG: The fashion scene is exploding! There is an emerging middle class [looking for options], and opportunities for designers to be part of recognized fashion and shopping festivals here.
A lot of the stores are gradually expanding their sizes past 2XL, but we also have a lot of bespoke and made to measure tailoring services available. [You’re seeing this] in a lot of developing economies like Ghana and India.
Chubstr: What does the name ÀSSIÀN mean?
MG: ÀSSIÀN means style in my language, which is Efiok/Ibibio in Southern Nigeria. It’s a community that has always associated [bigger] body size types with wealth, education and travel. Surely you could not have experienced life and still remain “small?”