The Vlisco Fashion Fund (VFF), an initiative that started in 2013 to recognise and reward outstanding designers who can use the GTP brand of prints to create amazing outfits, has again awarded three individuals who stand out in the competition this year with €10,000.
The overall winner was rewarded with a cash prize of €5,000 and a two-week ‘Master of Couture’ training in the Netherlands, while the 1st and 2nd runners-up won €3,000 and €2,000 respectively.
The lucky winner, Deladem Laetitia Midekor, shared the inspiration behind her production, explaining that in her quest to create something unique that will fall in line with the theme for the competition, ‘African Luxury’, she did research on Vlisco’s inception in Ghana and Africa which informed her designs.
“To me, African Luxury means craftsmanship, that is what people appreciate and pay more attention to. So, I crafted my designs and used woods and local materials as buttons to give that African feel. The name of my designs is NanaBenz, and this was taken from the beginning of Vlisco in Togo and Benin where the women group traders in the fabric were buying Mercedes Benz cars and dubbed NanaBenz,” she said.
The mother of three added that to her, this victory means it is possible to make great things as a mother by combining work with taking care of the children, and not only remaining in the kitchen. She hopes that with the support received from Vlisco, her brand, ‘Maison Midekor’, will soon become a household name in the country in five years.
Austin Nortey, who was the 1st runner-up, explained that he was inspired by what his mum used to wear in the 80s and 90s, and how she placed a premium on the fabrics sourced from Vlisco because they were very expensive and classic, and decided to fuse it with modern fashion trend.
Rukaya Halidu, 2nd runner-up, stated that her inspiration was from the elegance of the fabrics given to her and the patterns.
The competition started with about 407 applications, from tailors and fashion designers across the country; out of which 15 were selected for the main competition. Of course, there’s always a winner in every competition, and the three individuals afore-mentioned emerged winners with their innovation, creativity and magnificent work.
Speaking at the awards presentation event, Managing Director, Vlisco Ghana, Fatoumata Doro, emphasised that beyond the Vlisco brand being known for top quality Fashion and luxury, it also believes in the wonderful talents on the continent, and is always willing to help develop these talents to a world-class level.
“The Vlisco Fashion Fund began with the aim of promoting and supporting African fashion designers and tailors. In the beginning, it was more of just an empowerment programme, but over time we have realised the big commitment we have to serve the continent in our environment, social, and governance (ESG) targetted areas through which we want to deepen our relationship with our African partners,” she said.
She added that these initiatives to promote, support, and train talents on the continent mean the future is sustainable and bright for both Vlisco and fashion designers.
One of the judges, Eugenia Tachie-Menson, indicated that the designers were so passionate, original, and creative. She encouraged them to keep up the fire and ensure they excel with the support given them to take the name of the country high.
Current Vlisco Brand Ambassador, Lucy Quist, congratulated the winners and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity to grow their brand beyond the borders, and put Ghana on the global map in the fashion industry.