Pinaman Owusu-Banahene is kind of amazing, she is the founder of social enterprise ADJOAA (Africa Design Journey through AustralAsia) the brains (and brawn) behind Wellington’s first ever Africa Fashion Festival and is (aptly) perhaps the most fashionable person I have ever met.
I sat down with Pinaman last week at our Constable Street café to talk about her long-gestating vision for Africa Fashion Festival FINALLY coming to fruition, what she’s most excited about and why the festival is about so much more than beautiful clothing. We also got to tasting some of the bespoke ‘Fashinii’ blend that Peoples Coffee has crafted to support the festival!
Here’s the lowdown – designed to help promote and celebrate African designers the Africa Fashion Festival is ‘an opportunity to experience the richness and vibrancy of African culture through fashion and other art forms’. From the out-set Pinaman wanted to create a platform that celebrated not only established and emerging African artists but also the heritage of the continent and the traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Six esteemed international designers will be showing at the festival as well as two local emerging talents.
The festival is also about giving back. A percentage of ticket sales has been earmarked for the establishment of three key social initiatives for young Africans in New Zealand as well as a fund for social projects on the ground in African communities.
What to Expect
Pinaman has curated an experience that speaks to the heart of the festival at every turn. She has bought together an exceptional group of designers including Nana Brenu, Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud and Nana & Afua Dabanka showing collections ranging from dresses and accessories (handcrafted raffia bags and sustainable wooden eyewear) to men’s wear and stunning hand-made leather shoes.
Attendees will be treated to a showcase of local and ethical products on arrival from Peoples Coffee and Wellington Chocolate Factory to the The Body Shop, Good Buzz, Karma Cola and more. On top of all this there will be a whole range of surprises throughout the evening!
Why We’re Involved
When we first met Pinaman we were struck by her enthusiasm – she was so excited to bring the festival to life that you couldn’t help but get excited too, it was infectious. Behind that however was a driving passion to use art to create change.
Pinaman has put all of herself to use in this venture; her knowledge and love of the fashion industry, her prowess as an event manager, her years studying Public Policy and her own personal experiences as an African woman.
Help Us Help the Festival
Peoples Coffee have developed a bespoke blend specially for the festival; the Fashinii blend.
Meaning ‘fashion’ in the Ethiopian language of Oromo, the Fashinii is a two-bean blend from the Ethiopian regions of Guji and Sidamo with fruity nuances of cranberry and mandarin.
$2.00 from the sale of each bag will go directly to the Festival’s Social Enterprise fund. You can purchase the Fashinii from our online store or at our Flagship cafe in Newtown.
We’re incredibly proud to be involved in Wellington’s first Africa Fashion Festival. We’ll be pulling pours of our world famous Nitro (made with the Fashinii blend) for all those lucky enough to have snagged a ticket. There are a VERY limited number of student and GA tickets still available HERE – but get in quick as they won’t last long!
What: Africa Fashion Festival 2016
Where: James Smith Arcade, Cnr Cuba and Manners Streets
When: Saturday 28 May
– Jesse F
May 24th, 2016