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Vlisco Fashion Fund 2018: Ghana’s Jeremiah Mensah Wins

Vlisco very proudly announces Jeremiah Mensah from Ghana as the winner of the Vlisco Fashion Fund 2018.

About the Vlisco Fashion Fund

The Vlisco Fashion Fund is a global contest, established to help emerging African fashion designers get their business off the ground.

The contest is held annually in Ghana, Nigeria, DRC Congo, Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast. In addition, African fashion designers living elsewhere in – or outside of – Africa can also enter the competition and make up the Global contestant category. One winner is selected from each of the participating countries, alongside one winner from the Global category.

The seven winners each receive funding equivalent to €5,000, plus a two-week masterclass in the Netherlands.

About the Global Jury

This year’s winners were selected by the Global Jury, consisting of esteemed professionals from the fashion industry. Namely: Bubu Ogisi from fashion label I A M I S I G O, and Oliver Asike and Velma Rose from the creative platform 2Many Siblings. Zara Atelj, Vlisco Group’s creative director, also sat on the Global Jury.

How the winner was selected

Over 600 applications were submitted to the Vlisco Fashion Fund 2018. A meticulous review process of the applications took place, followed by interviews conducted by local jury panels in each country.

Based on the interviews, three nominees per country went through to the next round. The remaining 21 nominees were then given Vlisco fabrics and a budget with which to create a collection of five outfits supported by surprising creative content within a one-month deadline.

During the last week in November, the Global Jury reviewed the creations of the 21 finalists and reached its decision on which seven contestants would be crowned winners of the Vlisco Fashion Fund 2018. Jeremiah Mensah truly impressed the jury with his work/talent, and has been selected as the winner in Ghana.

Jeremiah Mensah (27) owns the unisex fashion label JEREY MENSAH. The jury was blown away by Jeremiah’s Gladiator-inspired collection, which was detailed, impeccably executed and found to be very imaginative and original. Jeremiah’s collection and content paves the way for other fashion designers to experiment. Ghanaian runners-up were Patricia Naa Lamley Annang and Nana Kweku Agyenim-Boateng.

The finalists and winners were celebrated during a festive awards ceremony held on Friday 30 November, during which they presented their creations. All of the collections and creative content made by the nominees can be viewed at www.vlisco.com/fashionfund.

Funding and Masterclass

The prize funding must be invested into the winners’ respective businesses to facilitate growth. For example, to help finance the set-up of a studio, new equipment etc. Each winner will also be invited to attend a masterclass in tailoring at Meester Coupeur, a renowned tailoring academy in Amsterdam where many famous names in Dutch fashion trained.

In addition to the tailoring masterclass, the winners will also engage in workshops and other training events during their trip, devised to strengthen their skills in creative content, publicity and business.

Special Thanks

Vlisco would like to express its gratitude to the local jury panels involved in interviewing the candidates and selecting the 21 talented finalists. Special thanks go to:

In Benin:

Vlisco’s trusted fashion designer Pepita, Alexandra Ahouanmenou from the successful hair extension brand True As Nature, and the blogger Farida Saidou.

In Togo:

Entrepreneur Candide Leguede, Stylist Mimi Lawson and designer and stylist Nakida.

In Nigeria :

Talented designers Mai Atafo and Amos Tafiri, and award-winning fashion stylist Styleinfidel.

In Congo:

PR Director Joëlle Bile and tailoring professional Lydie Okaso.

In Ghana:

Joyce Ababio, Founder and CEO of Joyce Ababio College of designs and Technology, analyst, author and speaker Abena Brigidi and Sacha Oko, founder of Viva Boutique.

Vlisco Fashion Facilitation System

The Fashion Fund is just one of the Vlisco initiatives that invests in the African fashion industry. By sharing our knowledge, expertise and network, we can support emerging tailors and fashion designers in launching and strengthening their own fashion labels in West Africa.

As complementary initiatives, we also offer the Tailor Academy, (link to https://www.vlisco.com/company_news/64-students-graduate-from-vlisco-tailor-academy-in-nigeria/) and Tailor Masterclass (link to https://www.vlisco.com/company_news/32-nigerian-designers-graduate-vlisco-master-class/ ) .

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