Temple Muse was launched in May 2008 by brothers Avinash Wadhwani an ex-buyer for the best departmental store in the world, Selfridges UK and Kabir Wadhwani worked for Publicis UK, an advertising and communications company.
Avinash Wadhwani Kabir Wadhwani
The store is first of its kind in Lagos and caters to a niche clientele offering them designer fashion, accessories and homeware from African and global brandsa like. Temple Muse is a brand to be reckoned with as they partner with other premier lifestyle brands forperiodic top-notch events they organise. In October 2010, they partnered with champagne brand Veuve Clicquot for the ‘La Dame, La Muse’ event; a fashion collective in celebration Nigeria’s Fifty Years of Independence with pieces from African designers- Duro Olowu, Ituen Basi, Jewel by Lisa, Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi, Maki Oh, Momo, Nkwo, Odio Mimonet, Rocks & Roses, Samantha Cole, Sunny Rose, Tebazile and Tiffany Amber. In November the same year they partnered with champagne house Moët & Chandon for an event tagged ‘Under The Christmas Tree’.
For Arise Magazine Fashion Week, Lagos 2011, Temple Muse played a vital role, firstly as buyers, as they were scouting for new talents and looking at opportunities with veteran designers. Secondly, they worked with Stylehousefiles.com, an online magazine to help create a fashion installation within the Belvedere VIP marquee at the venue of the shows.
Temple Muse stocks from brands such as Amrapali Fine Jewels, Kenneth Turner, Daum, Dunhill, L’objet, Jay Strongwater, Moet-Hennessy, Anya Hindmarch, Givenchy, Kara Ross NY, Lalique, Lladro, Christofle, Missoni Home, Hermes Home, Jewel by Lisa, Bernardaud, Baccarat, Agraria, Lara bohinc, Eki Orleans, Tsemaye Binitie and many more…
Avinash and Kabir took time off their busy schedules to speak with onobello.com, giving us exclusive details as to what it takes to build a luxury brand in Nigeria.
L'Objet Gold Plated Ornaments Temple Muse Confectionary
Lara Bohinc Neckpiece SS11 Kara Ross Jewellery
Jewel by Lisa Dress For Under
The Christmas Tree Event Eva Soniake Ankara Cushion
Anita Quansah Jewellery Amrapali Jewellery
Eki Orleans Dress SS11
Duro Olowu Dress For La Dame La Muse
OB: Where did you get the inspiration to start Temple Muse?
TM: Moving back to Lagos, we realised there was no real destination for
luxury goods. Also there was nowhere that showcased an array of
Nigerian/African designers as well, thus the idea to start a retail
business came about. The name Temple Muse was something that we felt
was appropriate as it literally translates into 'pure inspiration' and
we want people to be inspired by the talent, brands and services we
OB: What are the criteria for choosing the designers you stock at the store?
TM: When it comes to choosing designers, we look for the actual brand
identity and longevity. This very important because we need to know the brand
is going to be sustainable and last, the look and aesthetic of the
collections, making sure it is something that is fashion forward but
also has a commercial edge, quality is imperative and of course the
production. We need to know that the brand/designer will be able to
provide us with enough stock. Lastly, we also like to work with people
who have a vision of the future.
OB: What makes you stand out and how have you managed to stay
ahead in this very competitive business?
TM:I think the fact that we are extremely hands on in the business is very important – it's easy to loose focus and the two of us compliment each other, keeping the other on our toes so we keep improving on what we do. In addition, we also work a lot on customer service, and that personal touch, as well as
making sure we are constantly changing, thus keeping the clients
interested whether it be a new brand, showcasing a new trend or just
having a good time at one of our themed events.
OB: Apart from the designers, tell us about the brands you work with?
TM: Temple Muse is a lifestyle store and thus have a fashion element but
also have a homeware/gift side to the business, as well as an array of services we offer, including a wedding gift registry, floristry, signature cupcakes, corporate gifts & hamper service.
OB: What are your future plans?
TM:We always have lots of plans on the go at the same time so all we can
say is watch this space,we always aim to surprise!
OB: Talk us through your personal style?
TM: Both of us have always been avid followers of fashion. Our personal
style is classic, elegant and smart casual chic.