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Qwesi Asephua | GFDW2016

Ghana Fashion and Design Week - Interview

As the most successful Ghana Fashion and Design Week comes to a close, we chat to the organisers to find out what were the highlights, what it means for Accra and, yup, this year's colour

Written by
Daniel Neilson

What defines this year's event overall? What sets it apart from previous editions?
This year event initiated a new focus on the future of fashion in Africa, to tell the story of a new Africa fashion narrative highlighting the true and original authentic African heritage craftsmanship, from woven textiles to traditional batik prints infusion with design for fashion innovation in Africa.

What does Ghana Fashion & Design Week mean for Accra?
GFDW is responsible for placing Ghana as a country, and Accra as a city on the global fashion map. It brought a new approach and direction to fashion events as a business with substance. It changed the face of fashion with innovative concepts giving Accra a new focus to what fashion should mean to designers, models, photographers and consumers as a business, it continues to shape media and institutions understanding of the fashion focus space. It brought to surface the importance of proper education for fashion as a must have element through its business seminars in Accra, continuing in the shaping and transforming the industry. 

It has set the pace that all other fashion events that has come after it in Accra and across Ghana has followed till date, and continue to follow. It has given Accra a new status as an emerging fashion city in Africa, and now counted among the top three African cities to look at where innovation in fashion business is the leading drive and focus on platforms such as GFDW. 

It continues to show the rest of the world the city of Accra potential where fashion business and opportunities are concerned, driving interest of international companies to seek new possibilities, source and manufacture in Accra and other parts of Ghana.

GFDW is one of a kind that pulls visitors from different parts of the world each year to Accra purely to just visit the event, and see the city of Accra for the first time, adding value to the tourism industry in Ghana.

Was there a specific theme for 2016?
GFDW: Yes, theme is ‘Neo Africa’ highlighting a new direction for fashion in Africa. 

What were this year's highlight?
Launching the brands of the four New Talents Spot (NTS) designers after going through nurturing and training for their business development under the GFDW NTS initiative space – the selected talents includes Blvck St. by Shika Odamtten, Radiant Jackson, Owusu Kofi and Tutuwaa by Afua Biney.

Which new and up and coming designers have been included in this year's line up?
Emerging Ghanaian brand Gary Pie – by Usman Alfaziz, launched his brand at GFDW this year with promising design direction, another one to watch in the fashion space in future.

Which fashion or design trends feature strongly across all 2016 participants?
Definitely the colour blue, which is one of the key colour trends for SS17 fashion, among the mint greens and earthy orange and coral tones, featured strongly across participants’ collections in different shades, from strong electric blue palettes to subtle pastel blues for both women and menswear. 

What do you hope attendees will take away from this year's event?
To be inspired by the delivery of quality fashion products, original design direction, creativity and innovation.

We hope that attendees take away these important elements with appreciation from presented designers collections, both on the runway and at the Life Style Exhibition Gallery.


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