House of Henri via the Fashion and Art Academy platform, its training and skills empowerment arm, recently held a capacity building workshop for fashion designers. The one day workshop which had many students and alumni of Fashion and Art academy as well as other fashion designers in attendance was themed “Taking your Fashion Business to the Next Level (Opportunities for Funding and Marketing)”.
Speakers at the workshop included Lisa Folawiyo of Jewel by Lisa, Bassey Essien of International Style Week Ltd, Fola Akinmolayan of Neo-2, Fate Foundation and Cedar Microfinance Bank. In her presentation, Lisa Folawiyo told the story of how she was able to turn a hobby into a nationally celebrated and an internationally recognized brand. Bassey Essien on the other hand enlightened participants on the importance of marketing their businesses and enumerated the steps they could take to access the N100 billion fund allocated by the government to revamp the Cotton, Textile and Garment industry which is being managed by the Bank of Industry. Fola Akinmolayan’s presentation focused on how fashion designers can leverage the vast opportunities of the web for branding their businesses and marketing their products and services. The representative of Fate Foundation spoke on the importance of business training while Kehinde Bakare of Cedar Microfinance Bank enlightened on how participants could take advantage of the funding opportunities his bank offered.
A major side attraction at the event was a fashion show and competition by the students of Fashion and Art Academy supported by Da Viva, a leading textile company. The 27 piece runway showcase of styles in DaViva prints was a display of the creativity of the budding fashion designers at their best. The show which had a male and female segment was dubbed “The Reality Fashion Show” because the students modeled the clothes they produced themselves. The effect was that of various shapes and sizes of models on the runway which represented regular figures which many people in the audience could relate with. The collection ranged from ready-to-wear accessorized pieces to couture pieces with patchwork including tops and bottoms, dresses, gowns and evening wear. At the end of the show Osas Olumese emerged the most outstanding designer for the female category while Kenneth Efia emerged the most outstanding designer for the male segment. The winners were offered scholarship by Fate Foundation for a 2 week business training programme.
Speaking at the workshop, Henrietta Agboola the CEO of House of Henri and Head of Faculty at Fashion and Art Academy spoke on the need for fashion designers to acquire strong technical skills as well as sound business knowledge if they are to make outstanding successes of their businesses. She explained that Fashion and Art Academy had already empowered thousands of people with strong technical skills but it was now time to balance this with sound business knowledge. She informed that the workshop was the first in a series of planned quarterly workshops and was inspired by the desire to help fashion designers understand better the business side of fashion. She revealed that the approach was to bring participants in contact with industry stakeholders who have access to information which they can leverage on to take their businesses to the next level. She informed that the next workshop slated for December will equally be an information packed experience.
Photos from the House of Henri Workshop