On the fifth of May, a harvesting fashion show event was held by Fashion Industry Insiders in collaboration with the Sierra Leonean fashion design hub Izelia and Aurora Foundation. The efforts of the past few weeks were showcased at the Country Lodge Hotel in Freetown. Fashion Industry Insiders is led by Edmond Kamara, born and raised in Sierra Leone but resides in the UK, and they held the first event of this kind in 2019. Leading up to the high-end fashion show event, a few weeks of training took place for individuals, mainly young people interested in the fashion industry and related creative sectors, entrepreneurship, and business. The same individuals then showcased the work they made during these weeks at the event.
We at Aurora take pleasure in supporting a process and work that aims to improve the socio-economic landscape for sustainable fashion and design in Sierra Leone. And in enhancing opportunities for young people who want to promote their work and build a career in the industry, whether in the form of photography, design, tailoring, modeling, or styling.
Amongst the things the young people received training in leading up to the event were how to dye and create motifs on textile, using the traditional method of gara tie-dying, to design, drape, and sew the clothing that was then to be showcased at the event on the fifth of May. Still, not only the trainees were showcasing their work at the show but also established designers from other West-African countries. To create patterns and motifs on the textile, the group took a trip to the beach where things that had ended up on the shore as waste were collected and thus given a new purpose and reused. Furthermore, the trainees had seminars in business development, how to use social media to promote oneself and one’s work, and critical thinking and curiosity. Both seminars were held in Aurora’s offices in Freetown. Moreover, the individuals who modeled the designs at the event received modeling training, and Edmond Kamara at Fashion Industry Insiders got on board prominent Sierra Leonean photographers and musicians who participated in the event. It was a high-end harvesting event celebrating the creative industries, fashion, and design in Sierra Leone (and West Africa).