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African Fashion Fund Welcomes Five New Board Members

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With a mission, to provide the highest quality of opportunities and experiences to African designers, the African Fashion Fund (AFF) has announced names of five new board members who have joined the organisation to nurture more successful African designers in the global fashion industry and luxury market.

Appointed in May 2019, the new board members bring diverse expertise and reputation in the global fashion industry, as well as immense contribution to the luxury industry in Africa, as in line with AFF’s mission to develop the fashion industry in Africa and the diaspora.

The new board members include: deputy director of Vogue Italia and head of Vogue Talents, Sara Sozzani Maino, fashion business consultant, Julie Gilhart, Deputy Chairman of Accademia Costume & Moda, Lupo Lanzara, bestselling author, gifted songwriter and radio/television host, Michelle Mckinney Hammond and CEO of Paris London New York Events & Publishing, Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi.
According to the founder of the African Fashion Fund, Roberta Annan, her team is excited to welcome and work with these board members and she is very optimistic about the future of African fashion.

More information about the board members are available on: http://africanfashionfund.org/board-members/

The Africa Fashion Fund is an organization that empowers fashion designers from Africa and its diaspora to succeed in the global fashion industry and market. By providing designers with educational opportunities in partnership with established players in the fashion industry, AFF supports African designers’ professional success.

The African Fashion Fund (AFF) recently collaborated with the UN ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) to launch a 100million Euro fund known as the Impact Fund For African Creatives (IFFAC). Through the fund, an accelerator program has also been launched to support emerging African brands with application for submissions open on iffa-c.com.

Designers & Models

Senegalese Fashion Designer, Sarah Diouf Vows To Train Local Tailors, Artisans.

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Senegalese fashion designer Sarah Diouf, whose Tongoro designs were catapulted to fame after being spotted on Beyonce, has vowed to to expand production in Senegal and train local tailors to translate her brand’s success into jobs for artisans.

Founded in 2016, Tongoro is a ready-to-wear label dedicated to the development of Senegal. The label made headlines last year when Beyonce wore Tongoro patterned dresses and wide-leg pants on vacation in Italy last year.

The 31-year-old Dakar-based designer was then asked to make a custom design for Beyonce, who wore a Tongoro suit and dressed her dancers in its jewellery in her “Spirit” music video for “The Lion King” film.

The Senegalese capital of Dakar is known for its vibrant fashion scene but most tailors are self-taught, work on street corners and have no way to reach a wider customer base.

Rising demand for “Made in Africa” fashion has not yet benefited many people in Senegal, according to Sarah Diouf, who employs only seven tailors so far. With more local training and online sales, she thinks Senegal’s clothing industry can grow.

Sarah Diouf said: “For me, the Beyonce storyline is opening the conversation and opening doors.

“We have so much talent, but I think we just need a little bit more structure to take it to the next level.”

By sourcing its materials from across the African continent and working with local tailors, Tongoro’s long-term goal is to create “a new dynamic for Africa-based manufacturing”, as well as foster the economic and social development of artisanal workers in Western Africa.

After Tongoro was featured in Elle and Vogue magazines, Sarah Diouf recognised its potential to sell worldwide. She plans to scale up next year and eventually open a production facility with 100 to 150 tailors.

She added: “It’s very important for me to create an ecosystem where everyone can benefit from what I do.”

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GlennSamm: The ‘Walking Artist’ Promoting Indigenous Fashion.

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FASHION has always been a way for people to express their beliefs and show off their personality.

With the constant evolution of fashion, especially on the African continent, more opportunities have opened up for people to express themselves in bold and daring designs and one artist who has not shied away from representing and promoting his indigenous African beliefs is Glenn Samuel Semakor, popularly known as GlennSamm.

GlennSamm describes himself as a ‘walking artist’ because he is not someone you can easily ignore on the streets or during art exhibitions and festivals such as ChaleWote where he can be seen adorned in traditional costumes or with unique facial art that depicts his Ewe beliefs and traditions.

His passion to promote indigenous African culture has seen him establish a contemporary African fashion movement called KvngsOfTheNewSchool, an all-inclusive group of models and what he terms as “Afrocentric /Afro futurist-inspired creatives.”

Already, the group is gaining international recognition since it was featured in a BBC documentary after catching the eyes of many patrons at last year’s Afrochella Festival in December with their unique appearance.

In an interview with the Graphic Showbiz recently where he mentioned his plans for the fashion industry and intention to blend African beliefs and styles with his Afrocentric creative pieces, the old student of Sogakope Senior High School said he would not be swayed by foreign influences.

“Fashion has no style, nobody has the set rules or standard to define what and how fashion should be. For instance, a period of time portrayed in a picture can be identified immediately just by the style of clothes the people are wearing, and this sums up just how powerful and all-encompassing fashion is.

“Also, fashion can change from one second to the next, but what never changes is the hold it has over society, and the role it plays in the modern world and that is why as an African with my own beliefs, I want to project my culture and my beliefs in what I wear.

“In this short time that I formed the KvngsOfTheNewSchool group, we have been featured many times across the world because of our uniqueness and most importantly, because we are projecting what others don’t have and that sets us apart.

“Initially, it was difficult to take this path, particularly when the general term for fashion had been limited to what we see in fashion magazines and on TV but the features my team and I have been getting means the world is thirsty for a taste of the new African fashion,” he stated.

GlennSamm has been featured in the acclaimed Vogue Magazine, has worked with several brands and also made appearances in music videos including Fuse ODG’s New African Girl and Manuel NonBada’s Every Day.

Again, KvngsOfTheNewSchool, which comprises people such as Mohammed Black, Neffew Wayne and Efo Kayleb, has made appearances at various festivals including Kente Party earlier this year in Accra.

With the Year of Return being celebrated, GlennSamm said the team had positioned themselves and would be available for activities that would require their services.

“The commemoration of the Year of Return is not just to bring people of African descent around the world back home but I believe that we need to instill our values, beliefs and traditions in them. They need to come to terms with our African culture and how we portray ourselves,” he stated.

The Year of Return Ghana 2019 is a major landmark campaign targeting the African – American and the Diaspora market to mark 400 years since the first slave vessel docked on our seas and this is what he said about it:

“Fashion is a very important component of society and our brothers and sisters who have lost contact with who they are as a people because of slave trade have a good chance to learn more about themselves.”

Apart from being a fashion artist, GlennSamm, who runs an entertainment blog, eboxafrica, is also a Public Relations specialist and has worked for entertainment personalities including Ice Prince, Eye Judah and Stonebwoy.

He attended Exopa Modelling School and continued his studies in Graphic Designing at IPMC where he completed in 2011. He had his basic education at Celestial School Complex at Ashaiman before proceeding to Sogakofe Senior High School where he studied Visual Arts and completed in 2006.

As a model, the native of Keta in the Volta Region, who is vying for the Fashion Personality of the Year award at the upcoming Youth Excellence Awards said being a fashion model was tough as it required following the industry’s “set standards.”

“If you want to succeed in this industry, you must not only be blessed with the physical qualities/features, you also need to work considerably hard to satisfy the fashion directors with your personality traits. It is not always about how stout, tall or the attractive features you have, it requires more than that.

“I can’t confidently say that Ghana’s fashion industry has arrived but I know there has been a lot of progress and that is the greatest motivation for people like me,” he stated.

(Source: Gifty Owusu-Amoah)

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(PHOTOS): Lacoste Replaces Its Crocodile Logo With 10 Endangered Species.

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French brand Lacoste has teamed up with IUCN’s SOS (Save Our Species) — a nature conservation charity — for a limited-edition collection of polo tshirts.

The tees have logos of endangered animal species instead of the green crocodile, and were launched on the runway during the brand’s show at last year’s Paris Fashion Week.

The 10 species represented by Lacoste – with the estimated remaining numbers – are: Vaquita (Gulf of California porpoise): 30, Burmese roofed turtle: 40, Northern sportive lemur: 50, Javan rhino: 67, Cao-vit gibbon (ape): 150, Kakapo (parrot): 157, California condor: 231, Saola (herbivore): 250, Sumatran tiger: 350, Anegada ground iguana: 450

“For the endangered species of this world, the crocodile abandons its ancestral place,” say Lacoste, who had previously never changed their green croc since its debut 85 years ago.

The globally recognized logo was designed as an homage to the brand’s founder René Lacoste, who was dubbed “The Crocodile” because of how he dealt with his opponents on the tennis court.

The new, limited edition logos were produced using the same green coloring and embroidery style as the crocodile.

Each of the 10 designs were produced in limited numbers, corresponding to the remaining population size of each species in the wild.

For example, just 350 polos were produced featuring the Sumatran Tiger, whose main threats are poaching and deforestation.

The smallest batch—at just 30 pieces—features the California porpoise, who due to overfishing is one of the most threatened mammal species ever.

Other species include the Burmese turtle, the northern weasel maki, the Java rhino, the eastern black crested gibbon, the kakapo, the California condor, the saola, and the Anegada iguana.

Each Save Our Species polo was retailed at $185, and the total collection of 1,775 are already sold out, with the profits of each sale donated to the IUCN conservation.

However, If you’d still like to contribute to the worthy cause, you can still donate via the Save Our Species website.

https://youtu.be/iLbW68bDV4g
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See The World’s Most Expensive Watch.

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A one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A sold for a hammer price of CHF 31-million (about $31-million) today at Only Watch, a charity auction held in Geneva to which top watch brands donate special editions. The previous record for the world’s most expensive wristwatch was Paul Newman’s Paul Newman Rolex Daytona, which sold for $17.7-million at a Phillips auction in 2017. The previous record for the world’s most expensive watch (a pocket watch) was the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication, which sold for $24-million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2014. It was made in 1920.

The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 is the world's most expensive watch, selling for $31-million at an Only Watch auction.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 is the world's most expensive watch, ... [+]PATEK PHILIPPE

The Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 was created specially for Only Watch, and it is the only one that will ever be made in stainless steel. It has four spring barrels driving 20 complications, including a grande and petite sonnerie, a minute repeater, instantaneous perpetual calendar with a four-digit year display, second time zone, day/night indicator, day/date (on both dials), month, leap-year cycle, four-digit year display and 24-hour and minute subdial. There are front and back dials, which can be changed via reversible lugs. The salmon colored front dial bears the inscription “The Only One” on the alarm subdial at 12 o’clock.

The watch also has a chimed alarm function that strikes the time by reproducing the complete tone sequence of the minute repeater – a function never before integrated in a mechanical wristwatch. To protect it against damage caused by inadvertent manipulations, it incorporates isolators that interrupt the flow of power between individual mechanisms or block certain functions while others are active.Patek Philippe originally introduced the Grandmaster Chime in 2014 in a series of seven pieces to mark its 175th anniversary. It is the most complicated watch Patek Philippe has produced. No word on who bought the watch.

The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 is the world's most expensive watch, selling for $31-million at an Only Watch auction.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime reference 6300A-010 is the world's most expensive watch, ... [+]PATEK PHILIPPE

The Only Watch auction, held this year by Christie’s, has been held biennially since 2005, with 100%. of its proceeds going to benefit research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that strikes children. To date, the event has raised more than $40 million. It was started by Luc Pettavino when he learned that his son, Paul, was afflicted with the disease. Paul passed away in 2016. Luc Pettavino received the Special Jury prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève two days ago.

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