This must be one of the most productive ventures outside the cycles of various fashion activities taking place in Ghana. To ensure the comment is not misunderstood, this is to say there are many good projects being executed from fashion shows to store launches, websites and more, however the Business Of Fashion conference is a new concept in the world of Ghanaian fashion.
So let’s get the critique out the way, the event started late. Not too late for a good number of the guests who were also late, but for those that were early it was quite worrying that they had to experience such timing. Next, it is quite disappointing that a lot of known names in the industry do not participate in such initiatives unless they are personally invited or speaking, it is an example that goes to show the arrogance that surfaces the Ghanaian fashion community and contributes to slow growth. A lot that were not presence could have learnt so much from the speakers and the discussion.
Now, let’s get straight to the juice! There was a panel of speakers listed as follows. Aya Morrison, a great Ghanaian designer who recently launched her shop. Ben Bond, young and fast developing photographer with the brand OAB photography. Ralph Zillary, a male fashion model, if you watch out videos look out for the guy with the yellow hair. Mawena from Mawena make up. Ob Abensa from FashionistaGH, established video editor speaking as a blogger. Dr Richard Boateng, technology researcher from the University of Ghana. Mr Francis Kwesi, head of Fashion from Accra Polytechnic And then you had myself, Nana Tamakloe, also speaking as a blogger.
A good discussion is always great, it was good to see what most people were concerned about. And from the looks of things the most essential concern was within the areas of copyright and branding. The notion of designs, ideas and concepts being stolen by other creatives and whether the government was supportive of the situation. A very intelligent and fierce lady took the opportunity to enlighten everyone about how to use the copyright office and adviced designers to copyright their unique designs and work through the right channels. Others stressed the fact that designers are to proud to reply and communicates with media, mainly blogs and therefore their ideas are usually not acknowledged.
Other two areas that were raised were stressed was the need to start an accredited body of professionals in the fashion industry, and The importance of social media being used in Ghana. The most effective part of this was the networking that took place, The meet and greet aspect of it. And it just dawned on me, that with the exception of fashion shows, which are not always filled with industry crowds and not everyone likes to talk there, this must have been the first social gathering purely of people in the fashion business which was quite refreshing to be at.
What is most certain is that the event left people wanting more, about 3 people interrupted the closing remarks to question when the next one is. On behalf of FashionGHANA.com we would love to congratulate Bashiru and the FashionManiGh team and their sponsors Woodin for kicking off a great initiative that can only grow. Looking forward to the next one. I was also recently informed there was a Business Of Fashion Conference taking place in Nigeria today, not sure if it by coincidence or inspiration from this event. Goodluck to them and we will try and get you updates if possible.
For More Information contact www.FashionManiaGh.com