Ghana, recently launched its premier fashion week with an impressive collection of international designers, seminars, and blue-chip sponsors such as Vogue Italia. Ghana Fashion Design Week (GFDW) is a revolutionary venture, setting an excellent example for Fashion Week’s across the globe to follow. The event aims to escalate the African economy and support ethical fashion while incorporating international and local designers in a unique platform. GFDW Sarah Boateng continues the discussion with MMJ. as she spoke with us about the intricacies in composing this global event.
Roxana: What inspired initiating GFDW and who founded it?
Sarah: GFDW was founded by a team of creative professionals in response to the growing need to establish a platform for designers based in Ghana and for those from the diaspora to gain recognition for their work. GFDW aims to allow designers to take advantage of global opportunities and gain international exposure while growing their businesses and boosting the African economy.
Roxana: How were you influenced by Fashion Weeks in South Africa, and Nigeria?
Sarah: GFDW’s influence derives from a global fashion audience and innovation, with a focus on encouraging trade and export from Ghana to the world. GFDW is strategically placed to support and strengthen the fashion, textiles and apparel manufacturing industries in Ghana.
Roxana: What were the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of planning GFDW?
Sarah: Some of the main challenges GFDW faced during the production of the event were logistics and meeting deadlines whilst sourcing from local suppliers. However, it was rewarding to see guest from different parts of the world gracing the maiden edition of the event.
Roxana: Can you tell us about the designers you selected for the launch, Autumn 2012?
Sarah: Designers were selected from all over the world, with more emphasis been placed on Ghana-based designers and those of the diaspora. Some of GFDW International designers include Sarah Duah (Germany), Nana Brenu (1981), Coccolily (Canada), Morts and More (UK) and some of the designers based in Ghana includes Mina Evans, Duaba Serwa and Christie Brown.
Roxana: What were the highlights this season?
Sarah: The highlight of this season’s event was the diversity of creativity and individuality the designers brought to the catwalk. In addition, having Vogue Italia and other influential media present at the event was worthwhile and a bonus to the designers trying to promote their brands.
Roxana: What makes GFDW different from other international fashion weeks?
Sarah: Ghana Fashion & Design Week® is a contemporary international platform envisioned to direct, lead and promote both emerging and established designers to a global audience. GFDW also focuses on ethics and sustainability and the recent launch of ETHIKHA™ aims to further create awareness, develop taste and promote the essential message that ethical fashion practices are carried through its platform. Additionally, the program aims to promote creative designers who are committed to designs that are produced ethically in an eco-sustainable environment.
Roxana: How did you incorporate ethics into fashion?
Sarah: Ethical designers were encouraged to apply and to participate in both the catwalk and exhibition. GFDW founded ETHIKHA™, a platform supported by Ethical Fashion Ghana (EFG) and African Fashion Guide UK (AFG) where designers can access further information on Ethical Fashion, resourcing, manufacturing, and global news.
Roxana: What are your plans and goals for the future and GFDW week?
Sarah: As the fashion industry continues to grow, GFDW plans to develop a stronger platform that will allow buyers to engage with designers bringing their collections to the mainstream, and we aim to work closely with talented designers.
Roxana: When will be the next iteration of GFDW?
Sarah: Autumn 2013
SOURCE: Mode-Moderne Journal: www.mode-modernejournal.com