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FCN keeping head above water amid pandemic

2021-05-07  Paheja Siririka

FCN keeping head above water amid pandemic
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Paheja Siririka

Since its establishment in 2015, the Fashion Council of Namibia (FCN) continues to assist in the growth and development of the Namibian fashion industry.

“We have forged strategic partnerships with MTC Windhoek Fashion Week (WFW), where we are their partners in the standardisation of the industry through educating local designers,” said FCN Digital Marketer and Content Producer David Wamambo.

He told VIBEZ! that unfortunately the industry has not been capacitated enough to produce enough to sell in South African retail shops here, and there is still a long way to go. 

“We do not despise small beginnings. One of our stakeholders, The Den, has a shop that houses local brands. Currently, for most fashion houses, online bookings via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook have been their most profitable selling points as they produce on order,” added Wamambo.

He noted that Covid-19 has been an obstacle in terms of restricting the FCN from reaching its stakeholders as it had envisioned.

The FCN thus established its website and the Thread online platforms to network with industry players.

The Thread is an online show through which the council holds discussions with different key individuals in the industry, and this takes place twice a month.

The Thread is a more interactive platform, where the FCN engages various industry players to add value, despite the restrictions resulting from the pandemic. 

The FCN also hosts a series of workshops with their partners MTC WFW and Katutura Fashion Week, usually in November each year.

Other projects of the FCN include Pitch Night, during which emerging designers pitch their business concepts and stand a chance to win an opportunity to be developed through the assistance of the council.

Pitch Night is organised by Launch Media, and happens during MTC WFW. 

Another event is The Makers workshop, which is a platform to create information exchanges through tapping into the knowledge of the fashion thinkers and makers from across the value chain.

The FCN is further collaborating with the Museums Association of Namibia on an ongoing basis to work towards the realisation of the Fashion Museum of Namibia. The museum will showcase a collection of historical cultural artefacts, clothing and accessories from Namibian communities at the turn of the 20th century.

These objects will show traditions and techniques in cloth making, such as the odelela, which evolved over time, and the ways in which contemporary fashion designers draw on the past.

2021-05-07  Paheja Siririka

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