The African Fashion Foundation hosted the first of its kind Creative Industry Retreat in Accra from 19 th May, 2021 to 23 rd May, 2021. The event which was organized by the African Fashion Foundation coincided with the NGO’s 10-year existence and celebration of the International Year of the Creative Economy. It attracted various industry players and stakeholders including fashion curators, designers, influencers and creatives from over 10 countries across the continent and the diaspora to connect and discuss ways of collaborating and pushing Africa’s creative industry forward.
Themed ‘‘Building a Sustainable Value Chain for Africa’s Creative Industry’’ the 3-day retreat was lined up with a series of curated activities including an arrival dinner, talk sessions, launch of sustainability project, visit to Kantamanto, luncheons, Industry Retreat Pop-up among others. The retreat officially kickstarted
with a series of talks at Bondai moderated by top fashion consultant and curator, Arieta Mujay Barg. Panelists included Roberta Annan, Emmanuel Okoro, Rozan Ahmed, Frederica Brooksworth, Adama Paris, Viola Labi, Nuel Bans, Maame Adjei, Nisha Kanabar, Ekow Barnes, Bolaji Animashaun, Kweku Nimo, Fred Deegbe, Farida Alabo-Moffet.
Other industry stakeholders and guests present were Adebayo Lawal of Orange Culture, Elie Kuame, Mahlet Teklemariam, Makeeba Boateng, Daniel Olurin of Emmykasbit, Mayowa Ayodele, Mama Luu, Ghanaian actor, Harold Amenyah, PanAfrican Ambassador & TEDx Speaker, Ivy Prosper, Founder of The Shop Accra, Eyetsa Lorraine Ocloo, Elorm Sika Amankwa, Fashion PR Consultant, Faith Senam Ocloo among others.
Roberta Annan explained that the idea for the retreat was to enhance economies of scale for Africa’s creative economy by investing in infrastructure and providing more opportunities and platforms for creatives and designers to compete globally. Discussions focused on issues within the creative economy as a way to gain
perspective from participants’ experiences and exchange ideas to foster industry collaboration. Topics discussed were The Creative Economy in Africa, African Sustainability vs the Rest of the world; Inter Trade Africa-Fostering Collaboration amongst the Creative Industry; The African Diaspora: How do we forge real links? The Future of African Creativity and African Luxury.
To reiterate its commitment towards sustainability, AFF’s fashion sustainability project, Recycle, Rework, Reuse was launched during the retreat at The Lotte, Accra. Showcased during the Sustainable Innovation Summit in March 2021, the project was in collaboration with four young African fashion brands. The project
which seeks to address the issue of fashion waste and sustainable product life cycles features the works of Omaliko Godson Ebuka of Maliko Studios, Omafume Niemogha of Peperrow, Samuel Otteng of Otteng and Dalanda Detta Soumare of Maison Detta. The project underscored the immense prospects of second-hand
clothing and the need for fashion designers to realize its immense potential and leverage on that to produce quality and sustainable clothing.
Guests were also taking on tour to Kantamanto, Ghana’s premier trade hub for second-hand clothing to gain first-hand experience interacting with vendors within the value chain.
The Industry Retreat Pop-Up was organized in partnership with The Lotte, Accra. Hosted by Adama Paris, the shopping experience featured several African fashion brands like Emmykasbit, Pepper Row, Victoria Grace Fashion, Otteng, Maliko Studios, Elie Kuame, Maison Detta, Even Luna, Adama Paris Studio among
others. In attendance were Adeline A.A. Kufour, Dentaa Amoateng, Claudia Lumor, Aisha Ayensu and Vanessa Bannerman of Christie Brown, Christal Beeko, PY Addo-Boateng, Oheneba Nana Yaw Boamah (Abrantie The Gentleman, Doris Asomaning of Luxuria Lifestyle Ghana.
The retreat was climaxed on Saturday 22 nd May,2021 with an exhibition of Kenneth Ize’s Loom Project at Mhoseenu Studios in Accra. Themed “A Redesign of the Kenneth Ize Loom”, the exhibition showcased the redesign of the traditional weaving loom by Ize and industrial designer, Nifemi Marcus-Bello of Lagos-based
brand nmbello Studio. The exhibition was hosted by IFFAC Investment Holdings, in association with the African Fashion Foundation.
Photocredit: African Fashion Foundation