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Vlisco Fashion Fund: Establishing young African fashion designers and tailors

by sensie
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Speaking at the event attended by some of the best fashion designers in Ghana, the MD of Vlisco Ghana Fatoumata Doro mentioned “For over 170 years, the group Vlisco has positioned itself as a benchmark for fashion and luxury in Africa. Well established in the west and the center of the African continent with its four brands, Vlisco, Uniwax, Woodin, and GTP, the company has an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) commitment which is ‘’Doing the best we can with the people of Africa’’. Through this commitment, Vlisco Group is choosing to collaborate with its African ecosystem to create win-win relationships, sustainably. We have materialized this commitment via 15 ESG initiatives built under 7 of the UN Sustainable development goals which are: quality education, reduced inequality, responsible consumption and production, gender equality, decent work, and economic growth, climate action, peace justice, and strong institution. €7, 3M is being committed towards these 15 initiatives for the next 5 years across the countries including Ghana. This is an increased expenditure towards our social commitments.”

The Vlisco Fashion Fund which aims at training, promoting, and funding young African fashion designers and tailors in the establishment of their careers in the Fashion industry started in 2013. In Ghana, the Fashion Fund has seen the establishment of fashion houses including ShebyBena; Turquoise_hautecouture; Jerey_Mensah, and many others whose dreams have materialized as a result of Vlisco’s vision and commitment to ESG.

“Fashion designers and tailors play an important role in our ecosystem. Each time our customers buy Vlisco prints, the next process is finding a suitable fashion designer or tailor to create them a wonderful look. We find it a necessary part of our business to empower talented fashion designers and tailors who need training in business management, exposure, and funding from a brand like Vlisco with expert knowledge in the field of fashion.” Said Deborah Sowah, Brand Marketing Manager of Vlisco in Ghana. She added “I have personally seen the improvement in the participants after each selection stage which started in May (portfolio presentation, sewing tests, and interviews). We are glad to crown Deladem Midekor today. We are optimistic that €5000 funding and a master couture training in Amsterdam later this year will give her the needed advantage to become the next fashion brand in Africa. We cannot wait to celebrate all her successes along this journey.”

The 2nd winner Austin Nortey and the 3rd winner Rukaya Halidu are receiving investment funding of €3000 and €2000 respectively. All 3 Winners will also participate in the various local activities and events of Vlisco for one year.

This year’s Vlisco Fashion Fund started with a training session for over 200 emerging fashion designers in April. Applications were opened in May, and later 15 participants were shortlisted from which 3 finalists were chosen by a trio jury made of Eugenia Tachie-Menson, Sumaiya Dzietror, and Faith Ocloo. They worked with Vlisco along the way to crown Deladem Midekor as the winner of the life-changing Vlisco Fashion Fund.

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