Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.



Fashion

December 26th, 2011

NearFar – ‘The Settler’ Collection

Picture 10

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.”

She returned to England and then back to Sierra Leone after she graduated from her degree at London Goldsmiths in January 2009, and sought after tailors that they could work with. It was a very symbolic moment to arrive as the UN peacekeepers were moving out. Everyone she spoke to had been touched somehow by the war. Ten Years of Civil War has left the country with many uneducated and unemployed young people. Literally thousands of young people had been completely denied an education leaving many on the streets with little or no support. Many of the tailors have lived as street children, been victims of commercial sex trade or been subjected to domestic abuse.
BUT there was a feeling of transition in the air and Stephanie was buzzing with excitement from the idea that she could play a small part in the countries development even if on just a tiny scale by for Stephanie that would be worthwhile. SO Nearfar is not just a design company but on that creates awareness for Sierra Leone and focuses on creating sustainable employment for people there too.

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







 
 

 
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