As part of my New Year's resolution I'm actually reading the Fashion books I collect - as I should. I'm currently on STYLE CITY. HOW LONDON BECAME A FASHION CAPITAL by Robert O'byrne and I'm amazed at how similar the slow rise of the Fashion Industry in London back then, is to the current Ghanaian fashion industry:
How irrelevant fashion was to the majority,
How many people settled for other occupations to survive putting their dreams away
Creatives traveling elsewhere to be the Designers they so dreamed to be.
A few designers came together to form organizations imitating the Chamber syndicale de la haute Couture established in Paris in 1868 by Charles Worth (who was actually an English man), which gave French designers in that organization more authority and backing to create, but failed to because there was no UNITY amongst the English designers.
An amazing woman, Yvonne Ntiamoah, (the past Head of Department of Fashion at Radford University), began an organization known as the Board of Fashion Ghana, was created about 2 years ago to create a space for designers to grow and rethink Fashion in Africa - the only organization I know of headed in the direction of a united creative community (at least in the fashion industry).
During my last trip back home, I attended an event Qoast2Qoast where African creativesJoshua Kissi, Kofi Beatmenace, Stacey Enyame, Maame Akua Adjeiand Nana Yaa Asare Boadu, from the diaspora had a sit down with local creatives to discuss the creative atmosphere both at home and outside. It was very informative and in the end the Editor of DEBONAIR AFRIK, Nuel Bans, moved the conversation towards UNITY and I applaud him for that because at least It's started a conversation; we are discussing the issue at hand, which is a step towards actually establishing something greater as a creative community.
Many years later after a lot of hardwork and learning from the Fashion Capitals (New York, Paris and Milan) even with their very traditional ways, London was established as one of the Fashion Capitals - Maybe there's hope for the Ghanaian fashion industry
There's hope, but I pray we don't stay on a hopeful high for so long that we forget to act on it.