- Title: KENYA: African fashion designers dazzle at Kenyan charity event
- Date: 30th April 2009
- Summary: CROWD CHEERING MALE MODEL ON RUNWAY FASHION SHOW
- Embargoed: 15th May 2009 13:00
- Location: Kenya
- Country: Kenya
- Topics: Fashion
- Reuters ID: LVADWG41B66VD3IGV7AGCY9UXRUK
- Story Text: Kenya hosts fashion show to raise money for people who were displaced during Kenya's post-election violence. Show features designers from all over the continent.
Fashion designers from across the continent gathered in Nairobi on Saturday (April 25), to display their work at the 'Fashion For Peace' charity event.
The show was created by the Festival For African Fashion and Arts (FAFA) organisation in 2008 to raise money for people who were displaced during Kenya's post-election violence.
The crisis was the inspiration for the collection by Kenyan designer Patricia Mbela.
"Election violence last year, so it's got splatters of blood, to signify people who died, and it's on strategic places and also, like the arrow heads, because a lot of people were killed with pangas and machetes, arrows, so I used the arrow heads to decorate the clothes," said Mbela.
One of the night's highlights was the work of Ghanaian designer, Kofi Ansah, who recently showed at the New York Fashion Week.
Ansah has been credited with changing the face of Ghanian fashion, and has become one of Africa's most prominent designers.
Anshah's signature style is his use of Ghanaian cloth, quilting, embroidery and appliquÃ©s.
"I think African fashion is strong, do I need to tell you, you saw what we can do. I showed at couture shows, and I took them by storm. And I showed in Brussels at the EU, and it was sensational. So I thought, let me do it in Africa. And this is for us by us," said Ansah.
FAFA plans to make Fashion for Peace a part of the annual African Fashion calendar especially since Kenya is still experiencing the effects of the crisis.
"For us it's always been about peace, because we started off last year, after the clashes in Kenya. And I think that it was worth pursuing given the actual reality of what's happening on the ground, with the displaced people. And as you know, all the proceeds are going to be with all those people to help them out, so I think that we found that it's a worthy cause," said Thierry Olivera, a FAFA board member.
FAFA plans to start offering training programs for local designers and hold similar events in other African countries.
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