African Fashion Foundation (AFF) in partnership with The Lotte and the Adonai Children’s Development Foundation (ACDF) presented the inaugural Kayayei Collaboration Collection at the Glitz Africa Fashion Week 2020. AFF created this project to empower, equip and encourage young street females by pairing them up with some great talent in the fashion accessory and garment industry in West Africa for a skills exchange programme. With the support of the ACDF in finding and nurturing those that needed the support especially during this global COVID19 pandemic, the aim was to present a collaborative new collection alongside Accra’s infamous concept store – The Lotte. The young street women and porters (Kayayei) were working in the designers’ studios and trained in key sewing and production skills all whilst contributing to a collection that will be showcased internationally.
This project is a social impact venture to empower the Kayayei woman and show a way that fashion can be used for good. This inaugural collection will kickstart an ongoing partnership with The Adonai Children Development Foundation and the Kayayei women to equip them with key skills and reintegrate them back into the community.
The pilot project was done with Ophelia Crossland and Velma’s Millinery & Accessories who kindly took on Gifty Alazoe (a young kayayei, mother of 1) and trained her in beading and basic sewing and millinery skills. She was able to use these skills to contribute to the limited edition Kayayei collection that was created. The final collections will be made available for purchase exclusively at The Lotte retail space.
The showcase at the Glitz Africa Fashion Week 2020 was evidence of a successful project and AFF will be providing ongoing support for the participating kayayei women as well working on making this a continuous, scalable and sustainable initiative. Gifty Alazoe will be continuing her AFF sponsored internship with Velma’s Millinery & Accessories for another year
Visit http://www.africanfashionfoundation.com to learn how you can contribute to this initiative and find more information about the project and partners.