Gone are the days when fashion and Africa meant local cottage industry or stereotyped animal and 'tribal' prints. African designers from all over the globe are working on an international level, designing to compete with a tenacity a voice and a presence which is strong, amazing and inspiring, one that doesnt take no for answer. London Fashion Week and Vauxhall Fashion Scout are leaders in selecting projects to work with that promote the strongest contenders. The Ubuntu International Project is one such showcase. Following the success of last years debut showcase of three South African designers this season Ubuntu International Project introduce modern heritage aesthetics from South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria.
Ubuntu is a South African ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The Ubuntu International Project is an organisation developing, promoting and exporting a new African design led aesthetic that fuses the techniques and traditions of Africa with African contemporary fashion in order to create a unique African high-end Heritage Brand.
“The cornerstone of the second Ubuntu showcase will be the 3 Rs so aptly embodied and coined by Jose Hendo “Reduce Re use Re cycle. Our Slogan Tees further capture the spirit and future Ubuntu African Industry development initiatives “Afro Eco” “African grown and sewn” Clinton Lotter is a continuation of the inaugural Ubuntu showcase. His collection subtly references the Ndebele South African tribe and European Art Deco.
Kevin Friedman from Frankli Wild™ jewelry depicts a lifelong fascination with the distinctive arts and crafts of South Africa which has proven invaluable as an inspiration for his work. He has also been involved in meaningful community development projects with local crafters. Recognition of his work followed when his well known Ndebele bead and diamond choker, modelled by Charlize Theron, which garnered Kevin a “De Beers Diamond International Award” in 2000.“The reason we have chosen these designers is that they represent the new African
signature that is coming through,” says Errol Hendrickse of Ubuntu. “Within their work
traditional influences are evident along with a specific heritage aesthetic that translates as a brilliant new fresh aesthetic".
“The vision at Ubuntu International Project is to establish a design led aesthetic that is not
geographically confined but “an intelligent, creative design led bridge linking Africa and
Europe.” stipulates Theo Omambala. Mr Hendrickse and Ms Omambala, started Ubuntu
International Project two years ago as an initiative seeking to develop talent from emerging markets across the globe. “We realized there was a gap within the market in terms of a innovative African design aesthetic,” says Hendrickse, “The world is desperate for a “new design aesthetic that has depth and meaning, that is relevant to today’s conscious consumer” stipulates Omambala, “as everything is so diluted on the global creative stage” concludes Hendriske. It is also time to show what Africa can offer the international world of fashion.
Designers taking part in the Ubuntu International Project will showcase new
collections at Vauxhall Fashion Scout London Fashion Week Sunday 19 February at 11:30am Freemasons Hall. See flyer below for details ..