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


December 28th, 2011

AACDD festival – ‘Fashion Africa’ and African designers on display – EVENT report

This weekend marks the end of the AACDD  festival of which ‘Fashion Africa’is on display and gathering interest as we speak! If you haven’t been yet its time to get on down there!

AACDD is an organisation that promotes black British design and creative talent. The British European Design Group (BEDG) organises events in partnership with the London Design Festival (LDF) – to celebrate African and Afro-Caribbean creative talent and provides the organisational resources to promote a variety of creative individuals, studios and SMEs to ensure maximum impact through the design, management and promotion of the events which includes workshops, seminars, lectures, conferences and various AACDD Award Schemes.

Sept/Oct 2010 saw the first of the African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD) series of events and the programme has since rapidly grown into a much larger multi-disciplinary event schedule with national and international activity for 2011. It will culminate in a comprehensive event programme spanning part of the London Olympics and the London Design Festival in August/September 2012.

Coinciding with the London Design Festival (September 10/11th) and the London Design Festival (September 17-25), the main focus of the African & African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Festival 2011 is the series of individually curated exhibitions, installations and events at the Bargehouse Building opposite the Oxo Tower on the Southbank.

The soon to launch book ‘Fashion Africa’ by AfricaFashionGuide Founding/Director, Jacqueline Shaw (of Jamaican heritage), will be on show throughout this years African & African-Caribbean Design Diaspora festival.

Taking place at the Bargehouse is a magnificent showcase of black creativity throughout the creative disciplines. The press night on Sept 8th 2011 saw a host of guests attend from various areas of Arts and Design background. It was well attended and a lot of interest was seen by all.

AACDD 2011 events celebrate the creativity and innovation by members of the African & African-Caribbean Diasporas living and working in the UK, artists and artisans from Africa and the Caribbean as well as work from British and international AACDD partner organisations.

“Statistical research shows that minority ethnic groups are significantly under-represented in the overall arts and design scene in the UK. 2010 Design Council research reveals just 7% of designers are from a minority ethnic background The AACDD Initiative will present the majority of designers showcased with their first opportunity to exhibit on an international stage and to network with the broader design community.”

Source: BEDG Proposal for Arts Council of England, March 2010

Whilst there I checked out other designers artists on the various floors and found some fantastic work on display. See photos below.

We cannot display this gallery

I also spoke with a designers whose printed cropped tees and print mix pieces caught my eye. The company is called Bezemymailan made up of two people and I spoke with Bezem Kassan who is of both Togolese and Russian heritage. She studied costume design in Paris and the clothing is part made in Togo by tailor craftsmen and also part made by them. Overall the work incorporates a fusion of the different countries she has lived and travelled too.

In regards to the crop tees she screenprints in Bermondsey Studios in London and the prints have an Aztec/mexican print inspiration. Showing previously in a show in Paris as well as the renowned Kulture 2 Couture show in V&A some years back and now collaborates with the London Print Trust. She sells mainly in Paris, as well as to private clients and online shops too but plans now to expand the company and so is seeking an agent.

I also checked out the beautiful home furnishing cushions from a lovely lady called Laurence Kanza’s and her label Le Petite Congolaise who will go on to show at 100% design festival straight after.

Julie Kouamo is a textile designer who has also created beautiful home textile and furnishings on show.  Fashion designer we love is up and coming designer Honey Malaolu who has some great tailored, creative pieces on show.

It was equally lovely to see Kwabena of Kayobi Clothing as well as Gabrielle of I am The Nu Black – who partnered with AACDD for the festival. They will be putting on an exhibition also at the Original Gallery in Hornsey Library from October 5th to 29th 2011.

The AACDD – Bargehouse Festival officially launched on September 8th with an evening preview for the press. The exhibition is open to the public September 9th – 25th 2011, at –


Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse Street
South Bank
London SE1 9PH

With just a few more days to go make sure  you come down to this festival and check out amongst other art and design pieces our infamous Fashion Africa from our book launch!

Author: Jacqueline Shaw



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