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Nairobi fashion house to dress 30 Soya Awards nominees


National women volleyball team Technical Director David Lungaho (right) joins Malkia Strikers in displaying their ...
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National women volleyball team Technical Director David Lungaho (right) joins Malkia Strikers in displaying their team of the year in the women category during the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) awards gala at KICC in Nairobi, Kenya on January 15, 2016. Photo/Sport PIcha

The glamour stakes at the 2017 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) gala have been upped with a Nairobi-based fashion house promising on Wednesday to dress 30 nominees to the nines.

Vivienne Taa of Vivienne Fashion House has partnered with Soya organisers to dress different local sports personalities during the 13th edition of Awards that will be held Thursday (January 19) next week at the cost of Ksh500,000.

“In the world, a lot of sports people are fashion icons. Look at renowned footballers like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. They are not your typical models but when they go for an official event everyone would like to know what they are dressed in.

“The two worlds of sports and fashion are in sync; I saw the opportunity and took it with this partnership. Soya is close to my heart because I have passion in sports and I recognize the importance of sports to Kenya and what it means to the athletes to progress and go ahead,” Taa told Citizen Digital.

The fashion house owner, 35, who ventured into fashion as a hobby before going professional last year, says she is honoured to work with top sportsmen in an exciting manner that would go a long way in exhibiting her patriotism.

She was speaking at a sponsors briefing as the countdown to the gala enters its final week in Nairobi where the event also received Ksh1.5m from the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) and Ksh1m from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

“I was inspired by my love of sports and the fact that our athletes put more focus on training and good performance. Fashion, in most instances, comes as a second, third or even last priority.

“I therefore, saw a gap and took upon the responsibility of bridging it. In Europe sportspersons are fashion-savvy; why can’t we do the same here?” posed Taa.

“I believe they can lead in the fashion world too because a lot of people look upon them for inspiration. We are dressing a few at the event because of the value of the sponsorship,” she added at the Soya function.

Taa, who is the first local fashion designer to dress the country’s world-beaters, showcased her talents for the first time at the Nairobi Fashion week and is hopeful for a good start.

“I’m not sure about next year for we are a small company. However we are not afraid to make bold steps so our options are still open depending how this year will go down.” Taa said hoping to set the fashion bar higher.

NSSF acting Managing Trustee Dr. Antony Omerikwa urged athletes to also invest in the scheme since the career of a sportsperson is short and it is prudent to have a back-up plan.

“I’m glad Kenyans are not afraid to venture into various disciplines like Archery or Kabaddi. It’s encouraging to see upcoming sports men and women venture with confidence knowing they can make it,” Omerikwa added.

Public voting for various nominees is ongoing where fans are encouraged to dial *279# on their Safaricom lines and follow the prompts to cast their ballots.Read more


03:58 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


London’s Men’s Shows Were a Hotbed of Political Commentary and Calls to Action


Clothing has always been political—what we wear and how we wear it has been a social issue since before the ancient Greeks—but in the current climate of international chaos, garments have taken on new meaning, able to show off in an instant the wearer’s political point of view. Nowhere has that been more obvious than at the menswear shows in London this week, where designers new and old have put political messaging front and center on the runways.

The most startling commentary came early on in the week, when MAN designer Charles Jeffrey presented looks that walked through the history of British fashion. In the mix were three gigantic papier-mâché figures designed by Gary Card, the most poignant of which came painted with with segments of the Stars and Stripes and of the Union Jack. Jeffrey called the trio of grotesque forms “goddesses,” but to the lay observer, they looked more like freaky phalli. In passing, the patriotic-printed one could resemble a nuclear warhead, too—is this Jeffrey’s way of warning what horrors might lie ahead? Maybe not—“Jeffrey was trolling,” wrote critic Luke Leitch in his review. Still, in today’s fearsome climate, we couldn’t help but see his giant creatures as eerily foreboding.

More subtle displays of our political unrest followed. Matthew Miller’s modelswore bloody red face paint and carried black and red flags during his show’s finale. He told Chief Critic Sarah Mower, “It’s about how a generation are a product of fear politics in a post-truth world. It’s created a collection of individuals who are afraid to act.” Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro was also thinking about fear in a collection that evoked images of Black Panthers, Che Guevara–styled Marxists, and other revolutionaries. “I look around now and see all the young people who are scared about President Trump and what that will mean,” he told Leitch.

Unsurprisingly, much of London’s creative set had Brexit on the mind. At Agi & Sam, the designers’ statement on the Brexit vote was unassuming: a European Union flag printed onto a wool jacket. Spring’s anti-Brexit advocate Daniel W. Fletcher, for his part, created a collection that sought to move on from the tumult of the EU referendum. “After such a turbulent year in politics—and all the xenophobia—I wanted to send out a positive message,” he said. That meant streamlined, luxurious clothes for a new generation of political disruptors and champions of change. Still, Fletcher couldn’t leave the politicking for the pollsters. Promotional images of his collection featured models of all ethnicities with a call to action beneath asking viewers to vote for his cast of gangly guys.

The message wasn’t muddled or minimized at Christopher Shannon’s brilliantly perverse show. Some models’s faces were covered with shredded flags, a not-so-subtle take on the crumbling state of international relations. Shannon’s clothing, too, went heavy on the messaging. One gent took to the runway wearing a black sweatsuit with a parody of the Boss International logo that read “Loss International.” His flag? That of the European Union. London’s young guard of designers might “just be making clothes,” as their detractors would say, but it’s clear they won’t go gently into that good night. Let’s see if the commentary and calls to action continue in Milan and Paris.Read more at:formal dresses australia | cocktail dresses


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Moroccan Entrepreneurs Garner Recognition and Success


At a time when countries in the MENA are struggling to create jobs for increasing numbers of job seekers, the success of entrepreneurs promoting small scale enterprises is worth celebrating! This past month, this happened with great fanfare for Moroccans who have combined business acumen with local resources to generate opportunities for workers with basic skills, mostly women, to make a difference.

The BBC did a special report on women who have built careers designing and promoting contemporary and traditional versions of the kaftan. Ilham Benami has always wanted to produce fashionable clothing, despite being limited in opportunities to study design in Morocco. She watched tailors and learned from them the basics of working with material, and began to make kaftans for friends and family at home. Her popularity grew, and now, at 33, she employs at least 10 women, and her kaftans have a broad range of prices depending on the quality of the material and work involved in each piece.

The article noted that "[t]he kaftan industry is rooted in tradition. It is a dress for women that dates back to at least the 16th Century. But it is evolving - 'just like Moroccan women,' says Ilham." Her kaftans mix Moroccan and Western influences and are becoming part of a global trend towards kaftan-inspired fashions. Ilham is clear that she's just beginning, in a country where 30% of women are unemployed. "For women's independence these days, it's a lot easier compared with when I was growing up," says Ilham. "I wanted to work and fashion has always been a passion of mine, so I was going to still follow my passion no matter what my circumstances were."

In Marrakech, the sister duo, Sana and Wafaa Redwani, have been running a kaftan business under the Vallasco Gallery label. It is an haute couture boutique with a store in the south of Morocco as well. "The kaftans have been modelled in Africa Fashion Week in New York and are exported to Portugal. Wafaa says the designs have a more Western cut with a 'Moroccan touch,' which explains why they are becoming more successful internationally."

The president of the Democratic League for Women's Rights, Fouzia Assouli, is optimistic about women's opportunities in business, but says there is still a lot to be done. She points to Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, the president of CGEM, the premier business group in the country, as a stalwart force in opening doors for Moroccan women.

The BBC noted that "Fouzia believes that since Chaqroun was appointed it has opened doors for Moroccan women in the business sector. But she says there is more of an awareness of women's rights among the elite than among the poor, who are still lagging behind. Many of these vulnerable women are now collaborating with businesswomen like Ilham, Wafaa and Sana to help make kaftans -- work which can sometimes take months to complete."

As the BBC reported, for Wafaa, the kaftan industry is a symbol of the Moroccan woman of today. "Our kaftans are like us. We are caught between the East and the West just like the designs, but we still have our Moroccan identity and we will still fight to move forward."

Young Moroccan Entrepreneur Snares UK Prize

Another story highlighted 19-year-old Walid Ijassi from Morocco, who has won a global competition among young entrepreneurs. The annual competition was founded by 24-year-old UK-based, Queen's Young Leader and social entrepreneur Adam Bradford, who started it in 2013. The competition supports young entrepreneurs by providing a start-up grant, mentoring, and networking opportunities. This is the first time the competition has gone international, with talent from 30 countries competing. Ijassi's project focuses on creating consumer products from apple waste.

Adam Bradford got started by winning the BiG Challenge enterprise competition when he was just 14 years old. He is autistic and has used his experience to champion causes such as opening opportunities to autistic people and raising awareness of extreme poverty.

Upon being told the news of his win, Walid said: "It's such an amazing opportunity that the AdamStart Challenge has given me as a young Moroccan entrepreneur at an international level. Having received the call from the team telling me that out of more than 300 candidates I have been chosen as the winner of the challenge was just surreal and made me more confident and galvanized to take my start-up, with the help of the Challenge Team, to a global and more structured level."

In addition to winning the competition, Walid is now the latest in the growing ranks of Moroccan role models for young people to embark upon entrepreneurship with determination and commitment. As Adam said in the article, "In light of the global youth unemployment crisis, we need more innovative entrepreneurs to tackle social problems and create an income for themselves. Walid is an exceptional young person and I am delighted to give him my backing. I can't wait to see what he achieves next year."Read more at:unique formal dresses | marieaustralia


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