Saturday, October 28, 2006

Design4LifeGhana

Well…I am super pleased and the smile in my belly is growing by the day! I have just returned from Paris as a winner of the Tabeisa - Design4Life Ghana competition run by the Ethical Fashion Forum www.ethicalfashionforum.com - check out my last Blog. My CHOOLIPS coffee bean & fish scale designs have been awarded ’Best global commercial dress & print design’. Admittedly I much love this title and I am so touched I don’t dare open the bottle of champagne that came with it just in case the bubbles may wash away the feeling of a dream come true!

My eyes are filled with future…Besides having won over a versatile selection of eagle-eyed judges…see for yourselves www.design4lifeghana.com, it appears that TOPSHOP were particularly impressed on the final judging day. In fact so much so they agreed to stock the winning designs in selected stores in the Spring /Summer collections 2007.

'Melanie and I could not believe the amount of effort that went into the winning designs and the designers attention to detail. Coupled with how amazing the quality of the fabric and the printing technique done by the Women in Progress team, we are really excited about selling the product in Topshop, we think it will fly of the shelves as its perfect for our customer' Clare Hamer: Top Shop Buyer & Melanie Frame: Head of Quality Control Top Shop

This directly impacts on Women in Progress, the Ghanaian company that made my prints reality, by creating major positive changes to their lives & business. It is also a major achievement for ethical fashion. It is an opportunity for fashion which owns a pulsating conscience to set foot into TOPSHOP and therefore into mainstream fashion. As a designer I only see a future in sustainable business that takes into account our environment plus the working and living conditions of all individuals in the production chain. This will bridge cultures and resources thus function globally and enable the production of innovative & commercial fairly traded products. Producing ethically will enable fashion to contribute paramount steps towards a mutually respectful, healthy and pulsating future for our planet and our children. Ethical fashion sounds like the NEW GOLD to me.

And it doesn’t stop there. Shortly, I will be travelling to Cape Coast in Ghana to visit Women in Progress. Tabeisa, the organisation behind the competition www.tabeisa.com will be administering the trip. I will be teaching classes for Women in Progress passing on all knowledge about the production of the winning designs. In exchange the women will let me into their precious Batik artistry, share a glimpse into their lives & history and let me savour African sun.
Where will it lead from here? My eyes are set on collecting African textile traditions in Cape Coast for these to be absorbed into my first kimono collection ‘Kimono – fly in African skies’. It will speak of ethical trade and ancient techniques as much as contemporary fusions of African, Japanese and British textile traditions and much much more…Enough!!! I will write more as and when there is more to tell…

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