October 25, 2010 – Acknowledging and celebrating the immense creativity and beauty in the arts and in fashion industry in Africa, FAFA (Festival of African Fashion and Arts) will host their 3rd Annual Fashion for Peace gala evening on 30 October.
The high-end fashion show and gala dinner to be held in the Nairobi National Park will bring together the best of Africa’s designers to showcase their designs and enormous talent. The event will also bring to light the creation of a movement within African designers and artists that is led by the fashion industry, which embraces and embodies ethical fashion and the values it upholds.
Conceptualised by Ann McCreath, creator of Kenyan fashion label KikoRomeo and founder of FAFA, the objective is to draw attention to the immense creativity and sophistication which exist in Kenya and on the African continent while striving to add tremendous value for the people, the environment across the continent and the entire industry.
“Ethical fashion is one of the fastest growing trends within the global fashion industry. It is involves key areas such as recycling, sourcing organic materials, applying fair trade principles and packaging them in a fashionable product that consumers want to buy. Following decades of mass production, wastefulness and unfair treatment of workers, consumers around the world, including here in Africa, are looking at ethics and sustainability as key components of the products they choose to buy. In this sense, FAFA provides a very real entry point for designers on the African continent to be taken seriously”, says Ms. McCreath.
FAFA 2010’s collections will reaffirm this and set the scene for fashionable, edgy collections that incorporate all tenants of ethical fashion.
The African continent is slowly emerging as a fashion powerhouse in terms of creativity and innovation. Through increasing the capacity and well-being of the people and communities behind this powerhouse can fashion play an active role in poverty reduction, the development of sustainable livelihoods and in the reduction of the harmful effects on the environment.
President Mwai Kibaki says of FAFA’s efforts, “I am very pleased that an event of this calibre is taking place in Kenya; it demonstrates that Kenya not only has the talent and resources to hold a world class festival, but also the vision to see that fashion and the creative arts, if developed properly can indeed play an important role in our economic development. I have the confidence that our youthful designers have come of age and are ready to take their rightful place amongst the world’s finest.”
Trade in fashion products provides key opportunities for communities in Africa. The nature of the fashion and arts industry means that it is possible for those in fashion and the creative arts to work with the community organisations which directly benefit the poor. In Kenya alone 30,000 people are employed in the apparel sector. The net effect and return from the fashion industry to the development of communities, families and individuals is enormous.
The event which is being organised in collaboration with Radio Africa, is part of a joint effort in promoting Africa’s fashion and arts within and outside the continent. FAFA 2010 remains a key and important event to support and develop the creative community within Kenya and across the continent.
“The fashion industry is a multi-million dollar global industry. FAFA 2010 serves as an indication that the continent is awash with talented and creative minds that need to be linked to the global fashion world. It is also a clear barometer to show that the continent has the capability of hosting a glamorous and attractive event that is at par with international events.” said Patrick Quarco, CEO, Radio Africa.
In line with its original mission of fashion for peace, FAFA 2010 aims to stimulate the industry in Kenya by providing young women and girls – many of whom were affected by he 2008 post-election violence – with the necessary skills and tools that will enable, encourage and support their aspirations and goals of being successful and economically-empowered African women.
Fashion for Peace is a not-for-profit event and proceeds from ticket sales will go to Seed of Hope centres which teach young women basic tailoring skills in order to enrich their lives and communities. Through FAFA master classes, these young women will benefit from the know-how of established designers in refining their craft and business growth.
Each year, Africa plays host to several cultural festivals which attract hundreds and thousands from across Africa and the rest of the world. FAFA 2010 will not only showcase this creative and cultural wealth, but it will also serve as an incentive and driving force in socio-economic growth.
FAFA was created in 2008 and is made-up of a multi-disciplined coordination team dedicated to the promotion of peace through art, fashion and music