Ethical Fashion Initiative: “Don’t copy others – tell your own story”

ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative is looking for talented fashion and accessory designers from the African continent. Until the 5th of January 2015 the initiative calls designers to apply to participate in their African Fashion Designer mentoring program. They are looking for creative and ambitious designers aspiring to build an international brand that value & commit to high quality artisan ship.

APiF: What do you look for in a designer?

Studio 189

Ethical Fashion Initiative: Innovation, creativity, the willingness to grow their export business with linkages to producers in Africa.

APiF: How can designers ensure they get noticed and stand out?
Ethical Fashion Initiative: First of all to send all the required materials clearly and in the requested format (see information sheet). Then of course the quality of the visual samples (photos or illustrations) matter a lot. This does not mean that designers should get their collection photographed by a professional photographer, but that photos should be neat, well-lit and present the whole look. Also, it makes a real impact when the designers have a real story to tell through their collection.

APiF: Any avoidable pitfalls you see in designer applications/presentations?
Ethical Fashion Initiative: Submitting incomplete work or photos that are too small or blurry. Not appreciating the level of competition that is out there. Applicants must give their best effort to make an impact the first time around.

APiF: What is the benefit designers gain from being part of this program?
Ethical Fashion Initiative: This competition is a huge opportunity to understand how designers can bring jobs to Africa. The Ethical Fashion Initiative supports designers in PR, Marketing and Sales.

APiF: If a designer wasn’t accepted last year or some years back – does it make any sense for them to re-apply?

Lisa Folawiyo

Ethical Fashion Initiative: Absolutely, because in the meantime they would have been working on refining their skills. This is the nature of the industry. For some of the big names in fashion today it also took time to experience success.

APiF: In general: any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry? Ethical Fashion Initiative: Don’t copy others! Use everything that you see around you to tell your own story – one that is genuinely reflective of your own design vision.

Some more details about the opportunity:

Past designers that have participated in the mentoring program of the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative include: AAKS, Ameyo, Anita Quansah London, Christie Brown, Duaba Serwa, Kiki Clothing, Lisa Folawiyo, Mina Evans, MO SAÏQUE, Sophie Zinga & Studio 189. Through the Ethical Fashion Initiative, these designers were able to participate in prestigious fashion events such as Altaroma, IED Moda, Vogue Talents, Vogue Fashion’s Night Out.

DEADLINE: Designers have until Monday 5th of January 2015 to apply.
Applications should include: a completed Designer Profile form, a designer CV/Resume (PDF format only) and 8 photos of your recent work (professionally photographed). These documents should be sent over email as a zipped folder attachment to:

Click here to download the Designer Profile form at end of the page under “Apply”.

Find out more:

  1. Please I wasn’t be able to meet the deadline and I will like to know when the program is coming off again

    1. Hi, probably end of year again but there are no dates right now. Just follow me and ITC Ethical Fashion on instagram and you won’t miss it :-)