London Fashion Week has been full of revelations. Whether it be old returns for some of London's most famed designers, much-talked about debuts or the rising stars that have been talk of the town. Then, in a category of its own, you have the three-year-long project from Fashion Scout and the British Council, CREATIVE DNA: AFRICA, which debuted as part of LFW. Spotlighting individual designers from seven African countries; Fozia Endrias representing Ethiopia, Ekuaaddo from Ghana, Epica Jewellery from Kenya, Baax Studio from Senegal, Fikile Sokhulu from South Africa, IGC Fashion from Uganda, and last but not least, Zimbabwean-based brand Haus of Stone, all saw their work introduced on the world's stage.
The aim of the project allowed designers to deepen connections and create new collaborations between creatives from the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as showcase their work through an installation during LFW, adding to both Fashion Scout and the British Council's efforts in ensuring inclusivity across the board.
The programme enabled the creatives to gain better knowledge of the UK fashion industry while creating networks to introduce themselves and their work internationally. The week-long residency saw the designers visit other designer studios, workshops, fashion shows and retail, allowing them to expand their networks and explore possible collaboration opportunities. The residency also culminated in an installation featuring the designers' work at Fashion Scout, created in collaboration with renowned London neon artist Half A Roast Chicken and stylist and TSAU designer Bevan Agyemang.
Mentioning the importance of the installation, the director of architecture design and fashion at the British Council, Sevra Davis, commented:
'The installation is a unique opportunity to strengthen the relationships between UK and African designers with an emphasis on sharing knowledge, skills, experience and ideas. The British Council's Creative DNA programme champions innovation and sustainability in fashion in the UK and across the African countries taking part and serves to further our cultural relations work.'
The cultural programme is the latest in Fashion Scout's efforts to democratise fashion by making it more inclusive, branching out to different kinds of talent across the sea. Considering the large pool of talent in Africa, as demonstrated by many of its hero designers over the years, we have no doubt London Fashion Week is only the beginning.