Biffi Boutique & ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative successfully collaborated to bring the Beat of Africa to Vogue Fashion’s Night Out in Milan, 16th September 2014.
Biffi Boutique and ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative partner for the second time to bring the Beat of Africa to Milan’s Vogue Fashion’s Night Out, showcasing African-inspired womenswear and accessories and a sale of limited edition ethical fashion items.
The Italian-Haitian designer, Stella Jean participated alongside five West African designers: Anita Quansah London, Christie Brown, duaba serwa and MO SAÏQUE, all from Ghana, joined by Lisa Folawiyo from Nigeria.
Alongside the presentation of their Spring/Summer 2015 collection each designer developed a special limited edition fashion item to be sold at the event. All proceeds from these items will be donated to the Vogue Foundation.
Biffi Boutique is one of Milan’s legendary fashion stores, owned by Rosy Biffi. Research, innovation, dedication are the three pillars on which the style and success of the Biffi boutiques have been constructed. The instinct of Rosy Biffi and her flare at discovering emerging designers and presenting new stylistic proposals make the boutique the ideal partner for the Ethical Fashion Initiative.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative is a flagship programme of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. The Ethical Fashion Initiative enables Africa’s rising generation of fashion talent to forge environmentally sound, sustainable and fulfilling creative collaborations with local artisans.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative also links the world’s top fashion talents to marginalised artisans – the majority of them women – in East and West Africa, Haiti and the West Bank. Active since 2009, the Initiative enables artisans living in urban and rural poverty to connect with the global fashion chain. The Ethical Fashion Initiative is proud of its long-term partnerships around the world including Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Isetan, Carmina Campus, sass & bide, Stella Jean, Karen Walker, Osklen, Chan Luu, United Arrows and Myer.
Under its slogan, “NOT CHARITY, JUST WORK.” the Ethical Fashion Initiative advocates a fairer global fashion industry.
Aisha Obuobi – Christie Brown
Christie Brown is a Ghana-based luxury women’s fashion brand that aims to satisfy the stylish urge of “that modern woman who seeks a true taste of Africa.” Christie Brown showcased in AltaRomaAltaModa for the first time in July 2013 and is distributed by Biffi Boutique in Milan.
Afua Dabanka – MO SAÏQUE
MO SAÏQUE was created by Afua Dabanka – a banker turned footwear designer by way of London College of Fashion. Afua draws creative inspiration for her designs from the extraordinary interplay of her unique background. Her Ghanaian heritage is evident in the rich and bold selection of colours and prints, combined with a strong influence of Germany’s clean-cut silhouettes. MO SAÏQUE also has a sister brand called MONAA.
Anita Quansah – Anita Quansah London
Anita Quansah creates bold and unique statement jewellery inspired by her rich and eclectic cultural background. Her designs incorporate vintage and recycled materials. Growing up in Nigeria, Anita was encouraged by her Art-loving family to make her own creations and experiment with different techniques. The brand has already caught the eye of the International Fashion press.
Lisa Folawiyo – Lisa Folawiyo
Lisa Folawiyo’s trademark is working embellishment into the traditional West African Ankara fabric to give it a modern twist. Handcraft is at the heart of the brand as Lisa’s craftsmen carefully embellish each piece by hand. Lisa has a strong eye for tailoring and fit, making her pieces both flattering and feminine. The brand has been featured in the International Fashion Press and worn by global celebrities.
Nelly Aboagye – Duaba serwa
duaba serwa is a growing fashion brand that incorporates a mixture of innovative intricate details, textures, structure and new types of volumes. “Our story is about bold effortless beauty and we pride ourselves in the construction of luxurious style lines, that cater to the woman who prefers understatements to flamboyant extravagance.”
Stella Jean – Stella Jean
Stella Jean first gained notoriety by winning ‘Who Is On Next?’ 2011, the scouting project conceived and organized by Altaroma in collaboration with Italian Vogue and ever since her collections have received continuous praise by the fashion industry, including Giorgio Armani who invited her to show her SS 2014 collection at his Armani/Teatro in Milan. Stella Jean has proven her commitment to women’s economic empowerment in developing countries by incorporating fabrics hand-woven in Burkina Faso, accessories made with hand-dyed fabrics from Mali with value-added production in Kenya, and jewellery crafted in Haiti.
For more information visit www.ethicalfashioninitiative.org