• Offer funding to 30 winning designers at Africa’s biggest fashion week

Funke Babs-Kufeji

As ARISE Fashion Week (AFW) 2018 returns the fashion focus back to creating global fashion brands out of Africa and the Diaspora, ARISE Media, promoters of AFW, thursday announced the launch of ARISE Fashion Management and Mentoring Programme (AFMMP).

The AFMMP will he held ahead of the official opening of the AFW 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria, over this Easter at the Lagos Continental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.

The novel initiative set to provide the financial, entrepreneurial, mentoring and business support for fashion designers on the continent and in the diaspora, has the full backing of Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) and others who will be awarding 30 winning pitches from designers at the AFMMP.

Determined to grow global champions out of African designers, the AFMMP initiative will be curating indigenous brands that can compete with the best in the world and stand firm on the international stage, starting with the AFMMP Boot Camp from Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

At the Boot Camp, designers participating in the AFW 2018 will have access to a faculty of experts, who will engage the selected designers on Fashion Business and Financial Management, the Business of Luxury, Supply Chain Management, Strategic Planning, Merchandising, Retail and Export Strategies, Social Media Strategies, Image and Reputation Management, Brand Acceleration, and most importantly, 10 Steps to Becoming World Class.

The highlight of the AFMMP Boot Camp, according to ARISE Media, will be a bankable business plan competition amongst the designers from which 30 winning pitches will be selected.

Each winning designer will be awarded N10 million funding specifically targeted at enhancing the designer’s infrastructure, supply chain, retail and export plans.

This funding will come with strings attached, a banking partner – Zenith Bank, Access Bank, GTBank and others – a brand accelerator, and a global mentor, drawn from leading design luminaries from around the world, who will donate their time and expertise to take Africa’s fashion brands global.

Arrangements are also being concluded with leading consultants and business schools to ensure sustainability with quarterly classes.

AFMMP Programme Coordinator, Orode Imevbore, said: “ARISE has always been globally focused. Twelve years ago through music and fashion, ARISE Media told the story of Africa Rising around the world, leading to the current resurgence of music and fashion.

“Today, after a black U.S. president, and a new Black Panther moment, the time for Africa is now. The AFMMP Initiative will ensure we have the bricks and mortar to compete in the emerging new world. And everyone is welcome to play their part.

“America is driving technology, Europe controls global luxury, the sun is rising in China and Asia. If not now, when will it be for Africa?

“Today, we take baby steps with fashion and the creative industries. Exciting hardly captures the emotions, as we are talking about empowering 30 talented designers with life changing support beyond capital, and making the African fashion design truly world class.

“The ARISE Fashion Management and Mentoring Programme is a first step. Jointly, together we will rise and conquer.”

The ARISE FASHION WEEK 2018 will take place at The Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos from March 30-April 02, 2018.

A final designer list for AFW 2018 is as follows:

• Abaya Lagos / Nigeria

• About That Curvy Life / Nigeria

• Amine Bendriouich / Morocco

• Andrea Iyamah/ Nigeria

• Aurora James / Canada

• Banke Kuku / Nigeria

• Bridget Awosika / Nigeria

• Bukola Akomolafe / Germany

• Chularp Suwannapha / South Africa

• Colrs / Germany

• Dzyn / Nigeria

• Fashpa / Nigeria

• Funke Adepoju / Nigeria

• Gavin Rajah / South Africa

• Gozel Greeen / Nigeria

• House of Divas Lagos / Nigeria

• House of Irawo / Nigeria

• House of Nwocha /Nigeria

• Ilare / Nigeria

• Imad Eduso / Nigeria

• Ituen Basi / Nigeria

• Karolynne Ashley/Bahamas

• Kenneth Ize/Nigeria

• Kimono Kollection / Nigeria

• Kluk CGDT / South Africa

• Koko Kamala / Botswana

• Lahnayo Midnigi / South Africa

• Laquan Smith / USA

• Laurenceairline / France

• Lanre Da Silva / Nigeria

• Lisa Folawiyo / Nigeria

• LOZA Maleombho/ Ivory Coast

• Lulu Lingerie / Nigeria

• Mai Atafo / Nigeria

• Maxhosa by Laduma / South Africa

• Maxivive / Nigeria

• Moofa / Nigeria

• Mustafa Hassanali / Tanzania

• Odio Mimonet / Nigeria

• Orapeleng Module / South Africa

• Ozwald Boateng UK – United Kingdom

• Prim By Michelle Elie / Germany

• Quiteria & George/ South Africa

• Rich Mnisi / South Africa

• Rokus London / Ivory Coast

• Style Temple / Nigeria

• Sunny Rose / Nigeria

• Thebe Magugu / South Africa

• Tiffany Amber / Nigeria

• Tinie Tempah / United Kingdom

• Tokyo James / Nigeria

• Tsemaye Binitie / Nigeria

• Tzar / Nigeria

• Vonne Couture / Nigeria

• Weizdhurm Franklyn / USA

• Washington Roberts / USA

• Yutee Rone / Nigeria

· Ziva Lagos / Nigeria.