Nearfar is a fashion brand infused with African print and positive initiatives. Stephanie Hogg is the visionary behind the brand and her African background is exciting yet quite humble too. She lived much of her early life in Ethiopia before moving to Kenya and then more recently spent 3 years in Sierra Leone. What she has achieved with the label can only be described as inspiring. Her parents moved to Sierra Leone in 2005 for 3 years and it was here that she became influenced by the beautiful African prints fabrics she saw all around her and she recognised a great potential in the talented tailors she came by which could play an effective part in the country’s development.
“I have always loved the vibrancy and energy of the people and their incredible positivity despite such hardships. Everyone I spoke to seemed to have been affected by the civil war, but their desire to move forward and forgive was astonishing.”
We were not only looking for exceptional craftsmanship but also those who were helping the community. After meeting with many groups we came across an inspirational co-operative of tailors who train disadvantaged young people. They pass on their skills in the hope that youths can begin to earn an income.
NearFar is a pioneer of forward thinking, socially responsible fashion and produces highly trend driven pieces in West African prints and for Spring/Summer 2011 launches their of third collection with an aim “to take the thinking girls’ wardrobe to another level” by providing an alternative to the mass‐produced and an antidote to the mundane.
Stephanie Hogg took inspiration from colonial Africa and entitles this collection ‘The Settler’ as it is influenced by a clash of cultures entwined together. Using her signature West African prints, Hogg has created a highly trend driven collection – from high‐waisted mini and maxi skirts, to simple shift dresses and immaculately tailored shorts. Her designs are both versatile and vibrant the perfect mix for the modern, chic woman.
This collection adds to their previous success of launching with US retailer Anthropologie last summer, as well as several selected boutiques. And most importantly Nearfar is in association with close partner GoalSTA, which enables them to be able to help tailors profit from their skills and rebuild a life of stability for themselves and their families. NearFar’s commitment to this cause is demonstrated by the fact that 10% of all sales are reinvested into the training of young tailors.
2011 Spring/Summer collection - All images copyright of Stephanie Hogg and NearFar
The collection is available at www.nearfar.co.uk.
Author: Jacqueline Shaw