DESIGNERS SPOTLIGHT: THE CAMEROON COLLECTIVE & CFI…..
New York, NY July 20 2012- The Cameroon collective performed brilliantly during the panel discussion and runway presentation last week Wednesday and Thursday at the African Fashion Week New York (AFWNY), and ended the week with the opening of a physical showroom known as Made in Camer Boutique. The Collective originally consisting of four Cameroonian designers Kibonen Nfi of Kibonen New York, Nakuin Kouidou, Haby Diallo, and Mesanga Sama of Mesanga was narrowed down to two due to minor immigration issues, however, a spot has been reserved for those who couldn’t make it, Nakuin and Haby Diallo, for the AFWNY 2013.
KibonenǀNY and Mesanga represented the Cameroon fashion industry with style and grace, letting their collections, Liwato La Mezrono by Mesanga and Flair Belle by KibonenǀNY, speak for itself. AFWNY’s Cameroon Collective, is a coalition of designers benefiting from one of the programs offered by the Cameroon Fashion Industry common initiative group (CFI) to expose, educate and train local designers to the inner workings of the entire fashion industry on a national and international level.
The CFI team was honored to have the renowned French/Cameroonian musicians, Les Nubians, alongside Ghanaian actor John Dumelo, who came out in support of the collective.
“I was very proud to see our visions come to life. Not entirely as we wanted but it was amazing. I was proud of the designers’ collections, the reaction of the audience and the press. This is just the beginning as we have very exciting plans for the Cameroon Fashion Industry. It’s all about assisting in our own little way to the overall development of the industry in Cameroon. We have an amazing team and together we will make this work”. David Nso, Co Founder CFI
The designers who attended this year’s AFWNY were opportuned to meet and collaborate with great designers such as Korto Momolu, USAID representatives, and members of the press, in order to secure funding, collaborate and obtain spreads in major publications. Members of the collective currently have a few items of clothing sold in online showrooms like Adiree and etsy.com.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for me. Some people dream but mine was a reality. I never dreamt I will be showcasing my line in New York at this moment of my life. It all happened so fast and I will like to thank the Cameroon Fashion Industry CIG for this brilliant initiative. I think many designers based in Cameroon should have a chance to experience an opportunity like this. It has modified my view on how to approach the whole fashion business. I am going back to Cameroon and I will definitely be doing bigger and better things. I see great development in the quality of work from Cameroonian designers with the model the CFI has put in place”. Mesanga – Designer & Member CFI
CFI is also proud to announce the opening of a new onsite boutique under the management of Kibonen Nfi, hence known as Made in Camer Boutique. This boutique mainly houses clothing, accessories, and footwear made in and by Cameroonian designers. Made in Camer Boutique is currently located at New York City’s legendary Malcolm Shabazz Market on 52west 116 street Lenox Ave, booth number 57, and hopes to expand in the near future. Cameroonian musicians, artists, and young eclectic afrofashionistas currently patronize the small boutique.
A “Made in Camer” moment with Cameroonian Afro-fusion World Music singer, Kaissa Ndoumbe (far right)
The goal of the CFI common initiative group is to see to it that manufacturing of all items showcased at Made in Camer Boutique is done in Cameroon, providing job opportunities to young Cameroonians. This boutique fosters collaboration among Cameroonian designers at home and in the Diaspora by providing a physical showroom to facilitate the serving a broader market whilst boosting the economy.
“As a designer it is very imperative to be able to effectively sell our products. Without the ability to do this we are not in the business of fashion, we probably are just entertaining the audience. Opening up this little boutique is the first step to getting our products out to the public. We are proud to bring this service to our people. With a platform for sales here many more jobs will be created back in Cameroon”. Kibonen Nfi, Co founder CFI
About Cameroon Fashion Industry
Cameroon Fashion industry was established in 2011 with the aim of developing and exposing their market to the world. Living the philosophy of united we stand, divided we fall, CFI presents a united front, and an organization designed to shield, develop and continuously propel the value of her industry practitioners on a national and international level.
Cameroon Fashion Industry, Common Initiative Group
34W 139thStreet, New York, NY, 10037
Thumbs up the Cameroon Collective & CFI CIG…Keep up the great work!!