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Fashion

Filtering by Tag: Madam Wokie

Flashing Lights: Fashion for Relief at NYFW 2015 featuring Madam Wokie

Munje Foh

On February 14, 2015, Naomi Campbell and an array of celebrity guests and models put on the Fashion for Relief show to raise funds for the Ebola affected nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.  A host of designers donated pieces for the models and celebrities to rock on the runway and Sierra Leone's own Madam Wokie was among those featured.  Philanthropy and community involvement are not new ventures for the brand, as Madam Wokie has been a regular supporter of local groups that provide care packages to Ebola staff and survivors, and before the outbreak developed training and employment programs that assist those displaced by Sierra Leone's civil war.  This time, Madam Wokie's charitable donation of a couture gown for feature in Fashion for Relief came with much deserved exposure for a brand that has taken the culture and craftsmanship of a little country to one of the world's largest stages.   I was invited along to experience Madam Wokie's debut at New York Fashion Week by my friend and creative director of the brand Mary Ann KaiKai.  I did my best to capture the moments in pictures below:

Mary Ann KaiKai with Tyson Beckford

Mary Ann KaiKai with Tyson Beckford

Mary Ann KaiKai with Estelle

Mary Ann KaiKai with Estelle

Mary Ann KaiKai with Jeannie Mai of the Real and NBC

Mary Ann KaiKai with Jeannie Mai of the Real and NBC

We chopped it up with Rosario Dawson and her lovely mom.

We chopped it up with Rosario Dawson and her lovely mom.

Beth Ann Hardison was in the house.

Beth Ann Hardison was in the house.

Mary J. Blige was incredibly humble, beautiful and sweet. Her spirit was just awesome.  Plus check out Rosario and model Chantelle Young-Brown taking a self in the background, lol.

Mary J. Blige was incredibly humble, beautiful and sweet. Her spirit was just awesome.  Plus check out Rosario and model Chantelle Young-Brown taking a self in the background, lol.

We got our mogul on with Russell Simmons.  Super cool guy.

We got our mogul on with Russell Simmons.  Super cool guy.

Mama Diddy was in the house and she came fly too! Her grandson Quincy Combs was in the show and she yelled for him every time he walked.  Too sweet.

Mama Diddy was in the house and she came fly too! Her grandson Quincy Combs was in the show and she yelled for him every time he walked.  Too sweet.

We caught up with the beautiful Cassie backstage.

We caught up with the beautiful Cassie backstage.

We ran into the super sweet Geneva Thomas from "Blood, Sweat and Heels."

We ran into the super sweet Geneva Thomas from "Blood, Sweat and Heels."

We were just about to take our seats for the show when we say gorgeous model Herieth Paul looking amazing in Mary Ann's design.

We were just about to take our seats for the show when we say gorgeous model Herieth Paul looking amazing in Mary Ann's design.

Herieth and her model friend Alewya Demmisse posing. Ha!

Herieth and her model friend Alewya Demmisse posing. Ha!

Brad Goreski and Kelly Osbourne of E's Fashion Police were on the scene.

Brad Goreski and Kelly Osbourne of E's Fashion Police were on the scene.

Rosario posed with actor friend Jeffrey Wright

Rosario posed with actor friend Jeffrey Wright

Bevy Smith was seated right next to us, y'all know I tried to talk her ear off lol.

Bevy Smith was seated right next to us, y'all know I tried to talk her ear off lol.

Cassie looked amazing.

Cassie looked amazing.

Nene Leakes ripped the runway

Nene Leakes ripped the runway

Yazz the Greatest from Empire

Yazz the Greatest from Empire

 The moment we were waiting for, Madam Wokie on the runway!!!!!

 The moment we were waiting for, Madam Wokie on the runway!!!!!

June Ambrose and Joe Zee of Yahoo Style turned up!

June Ambrose and Joe Zee of Yahoo Style turned up!

Naomi Campbell and her star studded model/celebrity cast closed out the show wearing zero t-shirts to represent where we're trying to get in this outbreak, down to zero cases.

 

Overall this was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.  The show was exceptionally well organized and between great music, exciting star appearances and beautiful clothes I didn't want it to end.  I am extremely proud of Mary Ann and what she has built with the Madam Wokie brand.  She remains resilient despite all of the negativity and strife in Sierra Leone and continues to shine a positive light on the country.   The Madam Wokie brand represents the beautiful things that can be produced in Sierra Leone and shared with the world.  The couture gown that was showcased at Fashion for Relief is 100% Sierra Leonean made, from the hand dyed fabric, to the design, to the tailoring and I just couldn't be prouder of it.  The lesson that Mary Ann has taught me is that behind every little (or big) success there is likely a story of immense courage and perseverance which we should keep in mind when enduring difficulties.  If we can just stay focused on the goal and remain positive we can achieve immense success, even when working with scarce resources.  Thank you to Mary Ann, Musu, Wokie and all of the Madam Wokie team for inviting me to experience this with you and a huge thank to Tom for rearranging your schedule to support us at the last minute and taking amazing pictures.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment or ask any questions that you may have below. - Munje

FRONT ROW: Flicks from Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief Show Benefiting Ebola Affected Countries

Munje Foh

Hello all! Naomi Campbell and her celebrity fashion friends came together on Valentine's Day to raise money and awareness to combat the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. A full review of the show will follow soon but for now check out these fabulous video snippets of the celebrities & models who worked the runway:

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New Year, Same Resolve

Munje Foh

Hello everyone!  I've been feeling really refreshed and excited about life since the start of the new year. I've never been huge on new year's resolutions because life is in continuous motion until you die so I don't believe that a new year or month is truly a clean slate.  For the most part you wake up with the same problems on January 1 that you went to sleep with on December 31st.  I do find lots of inspiration in the holiday season however and in people's resolve to accomplish more in the next 365 days.   This year I plan to work harder to find and cultivate my talents and use them create a positive impact in the lives of others.  I wish you all the support of the universe and a positive mind as your pursue your goals for the next year,  

On that note, the Foreign Market has some really exciting things in store for the new year!  Hopefully, you've already read about our work with the Fashion Does Good Campaign which will benefit children living in Sierra Leone who have become orphans because of Ebola.  For a limited time, you can support that campaign by shopping Madam Wokie accessories on our site.  Mary-Ann KaiKai, creative director of Madam Wokie has committed to giving 10% of all the proceeds of her accessories sold on this site to our Fashion Does Good Campaign and we couldn't be more grateful.  This is an amazing way for all of us to use things that we love to create a positive impact and I couldn't be more excited.  Lots of accessories have already been uploaded to the site and more are coming so please shop hard and shop early! We all know how quickly Madam Wokie's stuff goes!

 

Here I am casually sporting a Madam Wokie Beaded Foldover Clutch below:

Sweatshirt - DRC Apeparel, last season but similar here

Striped, semisheer button up - Forever 21 old but similar 

Shoes - Michael Kors available here

Leatherette pants - H&M old but similar here

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The Finale! Part 3 of Siata's Feature

Munje Foh

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you had a great week.  Please check out the final post in Siata's style takeover below:

My third and final look is a chic high waist-circle skirt and crop top also by Kadiatu Kamara for Printex. I paired this look with silver drop earrings that were a gift from my aunt, and red Jessica Simpson pumps. The hand beaded clutch is by Madam Wokie. (I wanted the outfits to speak for themselves, and since these fabrics had beautiful pops of color and intricate patterns, the less jewelry, the better.)

On a final note, I think its important to say that style isn’t only a way of dress, it is also the manner in which we live and how we give back to the world. An issue that I care about and I’d like my career to revolve  around, is reducing conflict in Africa. The effects of ethnic conflicts, civil wars, and genocide are extremely detrimental to a country and it’s people, as we have seen in Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and many other nations in Africa. The people that have been proven to suffer the most as a result of these conflicts are women and children. Many women become victims of abuse and children become orphans without the opportunity for proper education. My goal is to work with these groups who have been marginalized and to find solutions that provide better lives and opportunities for people to become active members of their society. Wearing African brands is not only fashion forward, its a way to support and uplift the global community and to make the statement that I stand with them as they strive to create beautiful products and beautiful lives.  For instance, the beaded clutches that I've worn with all of my outfits were created as a part of a project that Madam Wokie has with former women prisoners in Sierra Leone, which teaches them skills that they can use to generate income for themselves.  The clutches are available for sale on the shop portion of this site and a percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.  If you'd like to make a 100% donation rather than a purchase, the Fashion Does Good campaign has a great fundraiser that will benefit children who have been orphaned by Ebola.


It's a Takeover Part 2: Siata's Style

Munje Foh

Hello Everyone!  Thank you for checking out part two of Siata's style:

Style is something that I've always possessed, even from a young age.  Maybe it was the effect of my fabulous aunties whom I looked up to while growing up in Sierra Leone, or the pride my parents took in making sure I looked presentable as a young child.  Either way, I find that style comes instinctively to me.

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How was your weekend? Part 2. HBSABC Celebration

Munje Foh

My weekend in an African intellectual's paradise continued with the HBSABC after party. When your mind is focused on favorable things you've got to dress in your favorite attire...or at least that's my motto.  I chose a gorgeous Madame Wokie statement dress with simple accessories to close out the conference:

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I absolutely love Mary-Ann's (head designer at Madam Wokie) designs.  This flared midi dress has a simple style but the fabric she chose and the way she placed the patterns makes it a showstopper.  I can't wait until she opens an online store, because every time I wear her pieces I get so many compliments. To see Madam Wokie's Vogue Italia feature story click  here , to keep up with her work via her blog click  here . The shoes are Enzo Angiolini, Yabbo in Purple, they are sold out pretty much everywhere except E-bay.     Check out some of the best African-inspired outfits at the party, plus 2 Face Idibia performed:

I absolutely love Mary-Ann's (head designer at Madam Wokie) designs.  This flared midi dress has a simple style but the fabric she chose and the way she placed the patterns makes it a showstopper.  I can't wait until she opens an online store, because every time I wear her pieces I get so many compliments. To see Madam Wokie's Vogue Italia feature story click here, to keep up with her work via her blog click here. The shoes are Enzo Angiolini, Yabbo in Purple, they are sold out pretty much everywhere except E-bay.

 

Check out some of the best African-inspired outfits at the party, plus 2 Face Idibia performed:

Ankara with a bow tie? I love it!

Ankara with a bow tie? I love it!

Same guy pictured with Nicola Asgill of  Evoque Magazine , who is also rocking a  Madam Wokie  design. Sierra Leone was beautifully represented at HBSABC.

Same guy pictured with Nicola Asgill of Evoque Magazine, who is also rocking a Madam Wokie design. Sierra Leone was beautifully represented at HBSABC.

Ignore the photo bomber (lol), this guy's twist on the traditional embroidered men's cotton suit was very nice.

Ignore the photo bomber (lol), this guy's twist on the traditional embroidered men's cotton suit was very nice.

I'm not quite sure if this scarf was African-made, but its definitely inspired by traditional Ethiopian scarves.  I love the way this young lady used it to turn up her LBD.

I'm not quite sure if this scarf was African-made, but its definitely inspired by traditional Ethiopian scarves.  I love the way this young lady used it to turn up her LBD.

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These guys topped off their otherwise casual outfits with traditional African embroidered hats.  So. Much. Swag.

These guys topped off their otherwise casual outfits with traditional African embroidered hats.  So. Much. Swag.

Wait a minute...is this  Kontri cloth ? I should've asked this guy if he is from Sierra Leone since's he wearing a traditional Sierra Leonean hand made fabric.  Regardless of where this young man is from he's got great style, the way he mixed the striped pattern with a checkered bow-tie is an on-trend win!

Wait a minute...is this Kontri cloth? I should've asked this guy if he is from Sierra Leone since's he wearing a traditional Sierra Leonean hand made fabric.  Regardless of where this young man is from he's got great style, the way he mixed the striped pattern with a checkered bow-tie is an on-trend win!

Lovely structured bodycon dress in a vibrant cotton print. Everything from her nail color to her bag choice is popping!

Lovely structured bodycon dress in a vibrant cotton print. Everything from her nail color to her bag choice is popping!

Exquisite embroidered details...

Exquisite embroidered details...

Elegant elements of North Africa! 

Elegant elements of North Africa! 

2 Face Idibia performed

2 Face Idibia performed

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Table for 6 African Fashion Merchandizing Event featuring Madame Wokie, WINTERIZED!

Munje Foh

My super smart and connected cousin Sudie invited me to an event focusing on African Fashion Merchandizing, where industry experts would be on-hand to discuss fashion design, manufacturing and compliance. Since the winter has been frigid this year, I "winterized" this short summer frock by adding knee boots, tights and a cropped coat. 

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                                                              Dress: Madame Wokie, Made in Sierra Leone                                                                       Boots: Forever 21, available  here                                                                   Jacket: French Connection, available  here                                                                                       Cardigan: Old, Similar  here       More Pics from the Table for 6 event below, click on the first image to browse the gallery. Do you recognize any of the participants?

                                                              Dress: Madame Wokie, Made in Sierra Leone

                                                                     Boots: Forever 21, available here 

                                                               Jacket: French Connection, available here 

                                                                                   Cardigan: Old, Similar here

 

 More Pics from the Table for 6 event below, click on the first image to browse the gallery. Do you recognize any of the participants?