“The current youth in Ghana – a lot of the guys – already have bags like that,” says fashion stylist Kusi Kubi, speaking of Gucci’s Jackie 1961 bag. Together with Richmond Orlando Mensah of Manju Journal, a celebratory platform dedicated to elevating the work of African creatives, and Charlene Prempeh’s agency A Vibe Called Tech, Kubi was asked to collaborate with the Italian brand and reimagine the famed Jackie. A series of wonderfully bright portraits comprise the project, alongside a film that outlines the concept.
After working as a freelance stylist and brand consultant for several publications and clients, in addition to projects with Skepta, Labrinth and Calvin Klein, Kubi was appointed Manju Journal’s fashion director. Talk of the collaboration began back in February, when Kubi was discussing future projects while staying in Ghana.
Charlene got in touch via email about an exciting opportunity, but didn’t mention the brand at first. “The brief was really nice because obviously it was all about the Jackie 1961 redesign and the whole concept of the bag was a genderless fluid attitude, so we thought this fitted really well with Ghanaian culture,” Kubi remarks.
He is referring to the fact that Alessandro Michele’s reimagined Jackie 1961 bag made its debut on the runway of his combined menswear and womenswear autumn/winter 2020 show. “It transcends the classical categorisations of accessories thanks to its non-binary attitude. Smaller in size than the original, the bag is present in the house’s fashion shows combined with suits, grunge outfits and clothing of reduced proportions,” Michele said after the show.
Entitled “We Are All They”, the visuals explore gender fluidity in Ghanaian culture. “I speak two dialects: Twi and Ga. There is no ‘he’ or ‘she,’ everyone is ‘they’,” Kubi tells British Vogue. Keen to portray the Jackie in a new light, Kubi assembled an all-Ghanian team in Accra to showcase the beauty of male intimacy seen in everyday life. A Vibe Called Tech brought everyone together – photographer David Nana Opoku Ansah captured the vibrant imagery, Orlando Mensah masterminded the art direction and Kubi was in charge of the direction of the film and styling.
Multiple locations featured throughout, including Jamestown – one of the oldest districts in Accra – and the capital city itself. “It’s nice to show and shoot it in that kind of location with so much history; we’re adding more history to it.”
Alessandro Michele – Designer
Kusi Kubi – Fashion Editor/ Stylist
Bedzo Seth – Model
Mumin Jangani – Model
Quaye Dennis – Model
Brand – Gucci
Cookie Tee, Fiifi Coleman, Akumaa Zimbi, Others To Rump On “Rhythms on da Runway”
Cookie T; radio & television broadcaster, actor Fiifi Coleman, Akumaa Mama Zimbi; radio & television broadcaster and philanthropist, Gifty; Miss Universe 2012, Phylis Vesta Boison; Miss Malaika 2019 actor Umar Krup, and other notable creatives who serve as a visual aid for consumers or designers creating works of art have been announced as the official guest models who will rump on “Rhythms on da Runway“, slated for November 14, 6PM at the Underbridge, East Legon.
Launched early October at the plush African Regent Hotel, Accra- Ghana, the event will parade some of Africa’s most leading men’s wear and women’s wear designers who will be unveiling their latest collections and creations through a night of splendid fashion extravaganza. In addition to the usual assortment of business casual wear, streetwear, formal wear, ethnic fashion wear, and classic tailoring, the collections are anticipated to come with rich innovation and style.
This year’s edition under the ‘BEYOND THE RETURN’ theme will be strictly Ghanaian and its dubbed the ‘100 Ghanaian edition’ which is part of the Beyond the Return event activities. This means that only Ghanaian Fashionistas would showcase their fashion works on the runway. Other African and International fashion houses were not added to this year’s event as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Since its inception 13 years ago Rhythms on da runway have brought more fashion greats to showcase their works being rocked on the runway by some of the best models from Ghana. Last year’s event for ‘THE YEAR OF RETURN’ edition, was a huge success and saw African designers from far and wide converge to display their works. Designers like Mudi, Ophelia Crossland, Velma Accessories, Abrantie the gentleman and a host of other notable designers were amongst those that shared their works with fashion lovers present.
Araba Sey Meets Ambassador Of Peru
Ghanaian International Model, Araba Sey early last week met Abel Antonio Cárdenas Tuppia, who is the Ambassador of Peru to Ghana. The meeting was held at the Peruvian Embassy and had the joint team of Runway Ghana and the Peruvian ambassadorial staff in attendance.
The discussions were geared towards the upcoming Runwayghana fashion show in December and also to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Founded in 2016, Runway Ghana brings together stakeholders in the fashion industry including models, fashion designers and customers to collaborate, and share ideas on how to make the industry better and beneficial for everyone involved.
Miss Sey said it was an honour for Runwayghana to be accorded the rare privilege, adding it strengthens their brand- building resolve. The ambassador spoke about his admiration for Ghanaian designs, adding he was highly impressed with the Runwaghana team’s efforts in the Ghanaian fashion and modelling space.
Preparations for this year’s Runway Ghana event are underway & will be held on December 19, 2020 at the Gold Coast Restaurant & Cocktail Bar.
SOUTH AFRICA/ Shudufhadzo Musida From Limpopo Crowned Miss South Africa
23-year-old Shudufhadzo Musida of Limpopo has been presented with 1 million rand, and use of a fully furnished luxury Sandton apartment and a Mercedes-Benz C200 Cabriolet for one year after Sasha-Lee Olivier of Gauteng crowned the South African Model her successor at the just ended 62nd edition of the Miss South Africa pageant, held on 24 October 2020 in The Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town, with a 2-hour live broadcast being simulcast on M-Net and Mzansi Magic.
She, together with the runner-ups, Thato Mosehle (1st Runner-Up) and Natasha Joubert (2nd Runner-Up), will represent South Africa at Miss Universe 2020, Miss World 2021, and Miss Supranational 2021. Musida is devoted to advocating for mental health awareness and the educational and economic empowerment of children and women.
Shudufhadzo Musida was born on the same day as Nelson Mandela. Musida is from Ha-Maisa village, Vhembe District Municipality of the Limpopo province. She studied at the University of Pretoria where she earned a Bachelor of Social Science degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Before winning Miss South Africa, she was completing an Honors degree in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand. She is one of two sisters; her mother Thandi is a real estate agent.
Miss South Africa is a national Beauty pageant in South Africa. Traditionally Miss South Africa competed at Miss World until they acquired the franchise of Miss Universe and Miss Supranational. The winners are sent to all three international pageants. The Miss South Africa organisation resorted to a contemporary format in selecting representatives which was inaugurated in 2018.
Following their newer method, both a Miss World South Africa and a Miss Universe South Africa were selected as representatives. The winner of Miss South Africa 2019 was Zozibini Tunzi. Tunzi competed as South Africa contestant for Miss Universe and won, making her Miss Universe 2020. As such, the current reigning Miss South Africa is Sasha-Lee Olivier – originally first Runner-Up for 2019. Olivier represented South Africa at the Miss World 2019 pageant and made it to the top 40.
African Creatives To Be Celebrated Through FestivalAFRICANA
The talents of African creatives will be magnified through a series of programming by Pittsburgh-based FashionAFRICANA. They have teamed up with Paris, France-based retail company MoonLook to present the inaugural FestivalAFRICANA. Their aim is to give audiences an up-close-and-personal look at African culture through fashion and design.
The first installment of the four-part event series, which will continue into 2021, takes place in a virtual format this weekend, Oct. 17-18 at FestivalAFRICANA.com. The plan is for future FestivalAFRICANA events to be held in person when it’s safe to gather in large groups again.
FestivalAFRICANA is spearheaded by three Black women from Africa and the African diaspora. There is Demeatria Boccella, a global philanthropy professional and founder of Pittsburgh-based FashionAFRICANA; Nelly Wandji, a Paris-based Cameroonian producer, gallerist and branding/retail specialist; and Saran Koly, a London-based Pan-African multi-faceted artist, writer, and creative director.
“My prime goal as a cultural entrepreneur has always been to create a safe place for interactions between nations and continents because when we share our culture and creativity with others, we celebrate our authenticity as storytellers and solidify our singularities,” says Wandji in a press release. “That is exactly my summary for our selection of these creatives. They are part of global conversations, yet they remain authentic and proud of their heritage, traditions, and they revive centuries-old know-hows into the DNA of their brands.”
For the first virtual installment, attendees can expect to see the premiere of There is No Place Like Home, a fashion editorial short film showcasing the best established and emerging Ghanaian designers, hear conversations focused on Black women shaping the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries, enjoy a live performance by Ghanaian artist and singer, Worlasi, and take part in master classes in African dance, among other things.
“The late playwright, August Wilson, taught us, ‘There is an Africa in each of us that we have to get in touch with to understand our relationship to this society.’ This festival is a celebration of that individual and collective journey, and all African creatives and creativity,” says Boccella. “My journey back to self has been fed by the beauty and vibrancy of the Diaspora, especially the union of fashion and art. I grow a little each day by sharing that union with the world, and I would like to continue connecting to culture through design.”
Registration is free and open now at FestivalAFRICANA.com.
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