What FAFA is all about…

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October 26, 2010 – The Festival for African fashion and Arts – FAFA – aims to explore and bridge cultures through fashion, music and art by shining a light on the talent, which exists on the African continent.

FAFA aims to help break the negative stereotypes, which continue to afflict the continent.  In a world separated by stereotypes based on fear of the unknown, Africa remains one of the biggest victims in terms of misconceptions and misinformation. As more and more ordinary people realise their responsibility in creating a more harmonious future for the African continent, it is vital that another story of the continent be told. With this in mind, FAFA aims to help break the negative stereotypes, which continue to afflict the continent.

Ann McCreath, FAFA founder, encourages everyone to buy African fashion labels. “Through buying local, we are able to develop the quality of what we already have to offer. Buying local will ensure that prices of the African garment reduce because designers will be encouraged to produce clothes in volumes instead of one after an order which is what rather makes it expensive.

Across the world and at different times in history the Arts plays an important role in confronting these human stereotypes and in this particular case speaking to people regardless of nationality, tribe, colour and creed. 

FAFA was created to tell that story.

FAFA was set up in Nairobi in January 2008 during the Kenyan post-election violence period. The motivation behind the creation of FAFA came from a desire to show creativity in the face of adversity.  Due to the divisive elements of the Kenyan conflict, FAFA was formed with a fundamental belief that there can and must be unity in diversity.

Encouraged by many African designers around the continent to organise a call for Peace, FAFA’s main event, Fashion for Peace, was born. Taking place annually since 2008, Fashion for Peace is world class fashion show which takes place in the Nairobi National Park and brings together both local and internationally renowned designers from across the African continent. This year’s gala show and dinner will be held at the Nairobi National Park on the 30th October, followed by an emerging designer’s event on the 31st October. The event is titled “FAFA 2010”, with the tag line “Fashion for Peace”.

FAFA is made up of a small group of Kenya-based professionals drawn from the fields of fashion, media, music and the arts.  Who have a desire to see Kenya establish itself as a hub for all things creative on the continent.

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“Fashion is an expression of who we are, therefore it should be in our interest to support African fashion. I love African wear, it is so elegant which makes you wonder why we fail to acknowledge it in the first place. I am happy to be part of FAFA and I believe that this is the first step to making our African fashion an international affair.” Said Hon Martha Karua at the FAFA press conference held on Monday.

In many countries, the fashion sector makes up one of the highest percentages of GDP and, if developed properly, fashion can contribute to substantial economic growth in Kenya, in many areas such as the craft sector, designer businesses, and the textile and manufacturing sectors.  FAFA has started collaborating with Seed of Hope centres, which provide destitute young women and girls with tailoring skills and support them to set up small businesses. FAFA is also collaborating with The African Fashion Fair and looks to build synergy with other initiatives in the region and continent.

FAFA seeks to stimulate the fashion industry by inspiring youth to develop their talent.  In order to achieve this, FAFA has conceptualised a series of workshops which aim at putting designers in touch with international fashion professionals in order to stimulate debate amongst industry players, raise the quality of what is produced, and build knowledge of Kenyan and African talent within the continent and abroad.

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