WOW another year has ended. It has been an eventful year for us here at Africa Fashion Guide. We launched on April 1st 2011 online; We self published one of the first coffee table books on contemporary African fashion entitled aptly, FASHION AFRICA (Have you bought your copy yet? You can still purchase your copy from http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Jacquita); We have attended MANY fashion show,s talks and events on African fashion and culture and Ethical fashion too; We have rubbed shoulders with CEO’s old and new from the biggest fashion retailers and partied with celebs and fashionistas; Met other fantastic African fashion bloggers such as Shadders, Haute Fashion Africa, Africa Batik, Heritage1960 and much more – too many to mention – thanks for the support guys! and more exciting we had an awesome launch event at the Africa Centre in London on Sept 9th 2011 and since then it has been flying for us. With a growing team of simply awesome people with an equal love and interest in Africa, African fashion and textiles and above all sustainability, it has definitely been a team project and with lots of team effort. With the new year approaching fast we are looking forward to what Africa has to offer. Shows are coming in thick and fast and so we remind you of the shows highlighted on our Africa Fashion Calender (do keep up to date on this).
Along side this we will be seeing new online boutiques such as Le Tabouret D’Or launching for 2012 to join the likes of MyAsho and Agnes and Lola to name a few. More African fashion blogs, more websites and more projects such as LFW Vauxhall Fashion Scout Ubuntu International Project that we featured in September – bringing African designers to london and new markets; New market concepts like Soko Stingo, fresh new designers coming to the limelight from Africa and the Diaspora and even more fashion shows and events from Mozambique, to Mali to Niger to Zimbabwe and beyond! We especially are looking forward to the Hub of Africa Fashion Week that we will be working with in Ethiopia, as well as looking forward to attending Ghana Fashion Design Week in 2012 and the work behind the scenes there, and we also have some interesting projects and initiatives we are working on that we shall reveal all in due course ( I know, the suspense is killing you).
Why do we do this you may wonder.
Well this comes down to our mission and our rationale behind it. Africa Fashion Guide was birthed to fulfil a need. One that promotes the full supply chain of the African fashion and textile industry to the greater global textile industry. It is a one stop shop and platform for fashion professionals, students, retailers, magazines, bloggers and all those interested in African fashion and textiles as a way to promote this industry and bring links between African designers, craftspeople, manufacturers and textile designers with UK and EU fashion design companies and consumer markets, as well as with retailers worldwide. The Africa Fashion Guide website provides up to date information and news on all aspects of the African fashion and textiles industry.
Our mission is:
1-To Support Economic Development in Africa
2-To Support the use of Ethical and Sustainable Textiles
3-To Strengthen Trade Relationships over just Aid
4-To Support Fairtrade Principles
5-To Encourage Discussion and Implement Action
6-To Build active Relationships between Fashion Organisations (designers, fashion schools, media) in UK/Europe and African Designers, Manufacturers, Textiles Suppliers, Artisans and Workshops
Alongside this Africa Fashion Guide will be launching our new site mid January 2012 (held at www.africafashionguide.com) with a monthly newsletter so make sure you sign up when it goes live! We will be coming to you with new projects in London and Internationally, as well as international reports too. We will be attending even more events African and Ethical fashion (like we did with MadeBy and at the House of Lords) and liasing and networking with more industry bodies and stakeholders. Above all we will bring the business of African fashion and textiles to you in a fresh way and, above all, with an ethical perspective to let you know who are the changemakers on the continent, and for the continent.
It is an exciting time for Africa and so we encourage you to continue to read and prepare yourself for a fashion year of Africa!
Happy New Year! See you in 2012!
Jacqueline Shaw – Africa Fashion Guide Director and Founder
Illustration by Joana Faria of an Ituen Basi dress featured in our book Fashion Africa available to purchase at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Jacquita