When I started blogging almost two years ago, I never imagined that my journey would include planning fashion events. The Creative Development Reception was an idea that I developed after participating in a focus group a few months ago for the World Bank's Sierra Leone Diaspora Investment Study. The goal of the study was to collect data on the trends for diaspora investment (beyond just remittances) in Sierra Leone. After the study was completed, they planned a full day forum to discuss the results of the survey and needed an idea for a reception to close out the event. Fortunately, I was able to convince the organizers of the forum that a small fashion presentation would be both an enjoyable closeout to the forum and an excellent demonstration of the potential for sustainable development through investment in Sierra Leone's fashion industry. I was also extremely blessed to have the support and sponsorship of Illuminessence Magazine, an e-magazine that celebrates the professional accomplishments of young women. Proceeds of sponsorship benefitted my charity, the Sierra Leone Watershed Project. I also had tremendous support from the World Bank's Trade and Competitiveness Group, the DC Fashion Foundation & Macy's Fashion Incubator and the DC Arts & Humanities Council. The event was well-attended and well-recieved by all involved and for that I am extremely grateful. I even managed to snap a few pictures, check them out:
Creative directors Ramou Othman and Minnieratou Sillah of Keepeekee Designs represented Sierra Leone beautifully.
And they brought along their amazing mom Mrs. Yeama, I kinda fell in love with her.
Siata Swaray, writer for our sponsor, Illuminessence Magazine was there to represent the brand.
Christine Brooks-Cropper, President/CEO of the DC Fashion Foundation (DCFF) and creator of the Macy's/DCFF Fashion Incubator Program came out to meet with our designers and support the event. The Macy's Fashion incubator program exists in several major cities, but DC's program is special because it recruits local as well as international design talent to spend a year in residence at Macy's. Designers have access to business development training, mentorship and unique opportunities to court American buyers and market their brand in the US. The program considers new applicants each year. For more information about the program and how to apply, please follow the link above.
Michaela Weber, a member of the Bank's Trade and Competitiveness Group discussed fashion production in Nigeria with designer Tsemaye Binitie, who is currently a resident designer at the DCFF/Macy's Fashion Incubator. Tsemaye graciously supported our efforts and showed solidarity through design, much appreciated!
Ramou discusses her business plans with Michaela.
Shaka King, Executive Director of Operations and Technical Design for the DCFF Fashion Incubator and talented designer in his own right, also made an appearance.
Special thanks to Joy Spencer, Ade Freeman, Amadu Massallay, May-Marie Duwai-Sowa, Rachel Rukeba, Macy's, Gbenga Akinnabe, Christine Brooks-Copper and everyone with DCFF/Macy's! Thanks for visiting.