With all things Africa being the “new black” in global fashion, once again Vogue Italia’s Editor in Cheif, Franca Sozzani dared to do what her counterparts Black, White or other alike do not do. Franca Sozzani recently took an explorational mentoring tour of Africa to see for herself what the buzz about the so called “New African Fashion” was all about, so she can hopefully represent it properly & in its authentic full spectrum outside of European & American embellishment & aesthetic. As much as many Black publications in America & Europe give lip service to the lack of Black inclusion in publications like Vogue, where are they in seeking out & mentoring global African design talents who would love the opportunity to learn from & be showcased in their publications just as much as Vogue. For 2012 I hope we look deeper into the goings on & dealings of our own houses & try to do better by ourselves as much as we complain about what others don’t do. Say what you will, but know when to give credit where it is due & in this case Franca Sozzani has come to resurrect an economically forward moving ideal of Pan-Africanism, where it is less about shared pigmentation & more about a shared mindset toward Africa’s global fusion. Grazie a voi vi applaudire Franca for once again doing what others only talk about!
“When Franca Sozzani, editor of Vogue Italia, visited the Huffington Post offices last month she revealed that her proudest professional moment was publishing the “Black Issue,” which helped promote diversity in the fashion industry. Well, she continued that campaign with a trip to the African country of Ghana to mentor a group of designers from the WEB-Young Designers Hub. “You have lots of potential in this country. During my stay in Africa, I visited Togo and Nigeria but it was only here in Ghana I noted an authentic sense of fashion. In designing your creations, make sure that they feature not only references to Ghanaian culture but also have an international appeal so that your garments can also be successful also abroad.” READ MORE
“In Accra Franca Sozzani met both with Kofi Ansah, a young designer from Ghana and the young talents of The WEB-Young Designers Hub, an association of local young fashion designers who hosted a runway show of their collections in her honour…” READ MORE
For many fashionistas the name Kofi Ansah maybe unfamiliar, but for those of us who are true connoisseurs of progressive avant-garde haute couture style African fashion, Kofi Ansah represents the creme de la creme of modern day icons in traditionally inspired global fashion. His global resume is long- from working with Guy Laroche in Paris & Cecil Gee in London, he has had well over 20 years building his signature aesthetic in Europe before returning to Ghana to rejuvenate & rebuild its fashion industry to become a global contender.
Kofi Ansah is by far the go to designer in Ghana who has been lauded with accolades of honor to represent the fashion of Ghana at major national celebrations. He was the winner of the prestigious Millennium 2000 African Fashion Awards along with being the chosen designer to design the highly coveted Ghana at 50 anniversary cloth fabric for the Ghana at 50 Golden Jubilee Celebration. Kofi Ansah also designed the costumes for the opening & closing ceremony of the CAN 2008 African Cup of Nations that was staged in Ghana to international acclaim. I am sure it was a great learning & giving experience for both the Vogue Italia team & Kofi Ansah along with the members of WEB because fashion is so cyclical & global that we all have something to bring to the table to share & learn. Ghana is coming into its own in creative vibrancy in celebrating past greats such as iconic fashion Photographer James Barnor & building a future for its creatives with a strong foundation that is becoming more & more undeniable by the world. The Black Star Nation is truly shining & the world just can’t seem to get enough. As we like to say Akwaaba- Welcome to Our World!