On the 18th of September, during London’s fashion week, the infamous London venue, The Ministry of Sound, opened its doors for a spectacular and highly anticipated event.
Organisers, Urban MBA and Lstnup Ldn, collaborated with Puma Sportstyle and created a campaign that captured the essence of today’s political, sociological and economic climate and sent an unequivocal and loud message – Change is Essential, The Change Is Now.
I had an opportunity not only to watch the show but be a part of it and see it come to blooming fruition from the very beginning to the fascinating end of this necessary inclusive movement that the show was.
UrbanMba opening the door.
Kofi Oppong, the founder of Urban MBA, an award-winning charity that delivers enterprise and employability training, was a driving force behind the campaign.
Together with a Lstnup Ldn creative agency, they showcased three most talented London’s designers: Saint Giovanni de la Mode, Latoyah London and Okami London.
The socially distanced event focused on cultural references and metaphors to reach broad audiences of people and was also streamed online via Youtube and Instagram platforms. One thing I can say the least – the show was and still is the talk of the town.
A classical jazz player who set the tone of the show together with models that were carrying hand made boards with messages: Change is Now, Black Lives Matter, Change is Essential, All is Love, NO to Fast Fashion.
It was apparent that the new generation is no longer accepting the inferiority, corruption and racism. The outlook displayed on the boards were further emphasised by the spoken word artist who burst his compassion and support via urban poetry before passing the stage to the fashion designers.
Young Entrepreneurs and their Dreams.
The first designer to take the stage was Okami London – classy and stylish African fashion brand designed in England. Okami London founder, Caroline, focuses on creating ethical clothing that not only represents and celebrates African culture and fashion tradition but also serves as a bridging force for inclusivity.
She encourages “queens” from all over the world to embrace who they are through prints, textiles and exclusively, hand made designs. Just like the founder herself, couture-like designs represent the bold, confident and beautiful essence of a woman.
Caroline shares ‘Confidence is key in everything I do. I have a little “gangsta girl” in me that will not let me give up on my passion…despite my internal fears and reservations’.
The second designer to take centre stage was Latoyah London, who specialises in exclusive womenswear – evening and party dresses. She is a new generation fashion brand that lives and breathes on creating ‘everlasting memories through the outfits that girls and women wear’.
Latoyah is a storyteller through her breathtaking geometric prints. Cathedrals, architectural alignments and structures inspired her fashion show designs. During the fashion show, Latoyah showcased her main work: digital prints on the sweatshirts, wrap skirts, dresses and jackets and during her speech at the end of the catwalk did not spare thanks for Urban Mba.
Last but not least, was Saint Giovanni De La Mode – the fashion brand that blends contemporary and historical styles, to create a unique, urban and trendy collection.
The originality behind SGDLM provides a level of exclusiveness for their customers and continues to be driven by lifestyle, technological advancements and trends. Roby, the creative director and founder, shared that he focuses on building relationships with customers and getting to know them personally to meet their expectations and requirements.
‘Today, fashion is constantly evolving’ says Roby, ‘and we are now more frequently being met with a repetition of trends’. And one thing is for sure, Roby’s designs are nothing like you have ever seen before.
Ashley Stunna, worked as a head of styling and producer of the glam team for the show, assisted by Mercedes Wilinda Bahame. Ashley is also a founder of the Fashion Haul – a unique creative agency with fashion pop-ups, brunches, workshops, panel talks & wellbeing.
A young Mompreneur is a contemporary fashion stylist and creative director, who has many brands and celebrities under her belt, it includes Puma, ASBO Magazine, Lauren Marshall and many more.
The Vision, The Purpose and The Talent
In conclusion, to everything you just read, I want to emphasise on a purposefulness, vision and undeniable talent that is bursting through work ethic and commitment of everyone that was involved in a show.
Everybody, I had an opportunity to talk to, are flourishing in their fields and are fiercely climbing the ladder of success. Urban MBA, together with Lstnup Ldn and Puma Sportstyle, provided these young entrepreneurs with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and allowed them to have ownership of their voice and a sense of belonging in a closed-door environment that the fashion world can sometimes be.
Designers not only showcased their dream driven work but also proved once again that their unique and authentic stories matter.
To me, it means one more door unlocked for prosperous young adults to become their true and best selves. It is a significant start to the new decade in which we can finally seek representation we want!
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