By Amadou Labba Sall and Monica Neto
Cairo/Porto, 05 December 2022 African Export-Import Bank’s Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) and Portugal’s National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) have launched a call for applications from Fashion Designers from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Diaspora to participate in the fourth edition of the flagship programme, CANEX Presents Africa @ Portugal Fashion, to take place in Porto, Portugal from 14 to 18 March 2023.
CANEX Presents Africa @ Portugal Fashion provides a platform for the development of emerging fashion designers, by supporting the transfer of skills through mentorship from industry experts, while providing market access opportunities, to boost production, sales and distribution. The programme aims to equip participants with the skills that will enable them to create financially sustainable businesses with the potential to scale, as well as provide support with go-to-market and internationalisation strategies.
The programme has a blended format, mixing physical events with digital elements to enable linkages and partnerships. It is designed to support a generation of entry to mid-level talent, through a customized approach, to up-skill and individually support the development and recognition of talent.
The inaugural edition took place from 12 to 16 October 2021. Twenty African designers from the continent and diaspora took part in this pioneering edition, where they were able to showcase their Spring/Summer ’22 collections on the runway, as well as on an exhibition platform designed to facilitate linkages between the designers and industry stakeholders including the press, investors, manufacturers and buyers. In addition to showcasing platforms, the programme also included mentorship and networking sessions between the designers and key international industry experts.
2023 ANNUAL DESIGNER SELECTION CRITERIA
March Edition: A/W ’23 collection
Target: 10 Fashion Designers
Event Date: 14-18 March 2023, finalists to be announced on 20 January 2023
Location: Porto, Portugal
Deadline for applications: 23 December 2022
- Applicants should be based in Africa or in Diaspora (including the Caribbean).
- Designers should have developed a strong signature style and able to compete at an international level.
- Designers’ company must be registered, well established and have been in business for a minimum of 4 years.
- This programme is open to menswear and womenswear designers.
GENERAL ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Applications will be reviewed against the following criteria:
- Creative merit – applications need to demonstrate a coherent and strong aesthetic.
- Originality – a nouveau African approach to design and sustainability
- Commercial acumen, scalability, and innovation.
- Readiness to establish the brand to a global market.
- Proof of direct-to-consumer sales channels.
- Clear commitment to sustainability.
- Strong vision for the future of their brand with clearly defined business goals.
- Overall quality of the application.
Selected designers will fall in one of two Categories: Main Runway and Bloom Runway as below:
MAIN CATWALK DESIGNERS (5 SLOTS)
Portugal Fashion Week’s main catwalk is an international platform that is open to designers and brands who have produced at least five womenswear, menswear or unisex collections. The project is open to invited designers and brands, who, in addition to the general criteria, meet the following:
- Stalwart of industry with at least 5 years in the industry.
- Clear understanding of the business of fashion and its value chain.
- Innovative approach to challenges in garment making on the continent.
- Readiness to expand their manufacturing capacity and supply global markets.
BLOOM CATWALK DESIGNERS (5 SLOTS)
BLOOM Portugal Fashion is a platform for young designers and is open to designers under 35, those who have produced at least two womenswear, menswear, or unisex collections and who, in addition to the general criteria, meet the following:
- Recently penetrated the market (less than 4 years in the industry).
- Cohesiveness and consistency in design and fabrication.
- Commitment to independent design, adopting and/or using traditional crafts and sustainable methods of design
- Appropriate, suitable and commercially viable products.
- Demonstrate of the potential for growth and scale.
SUBMISSIONS AND SELECTION PROCESS
The Application must be submitted to the review panel in electronic format.
The electronic submissions must be sent to: email@example.com the SUBJECT line: “FIRST and LAST NAME, CANEX MARCH 2023 Application.”
- Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by an independent panel of judges.
- The panel of judges includes international key industry leaders from academia, design, finance, manufacturing, media and digital.
- The selection process for applying to the “CANEX Presents Africa @Portugal Fashion” Programme will be carried out in two phases:
- Company Information.
- Short statement of how applicant is contributing to the African fashion industry ecosystem.
- A PDF look-book from the last two collections.
- A PDF file of latest press book.
- Financial Information (sales and turnover).
- Vision for the development of the business over the next 2 years.
*No samples should be submitted unless requested.
Any questions regarding the application may also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the cohort selection has been officially communicated, the designers will be invited to sign an agreement that stipulates the conditions for participation. This will be followed by a designer introductory information pack that includes timelines, preparation and expectations leading up to the events in March 2023.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51 billion between 2016 and 2021. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
About ANJE and Portugal Fashion
PORTUGAL FASHION is a promotional project for Portuguese fashion. It was set up by ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs in 1995 with the aim of bringing about a paradigm shift in the Portuguese textile sector. In its 25-year history, the project has stood out for its discovery of new talents, through the Bloom platform (where 100 young designers have presented collections since 2010), building real partnerships between production and design and the increasing popularity of Portuguese fashion on national and international catwalks. To date, it has held a total of 170 events, 125 of those taking place internationally. PORTUGAL FASHION made its début on international catwalks in 1999. Since then, has made the internationalisation of Portuguese fashion one of its main aims, holding campaigns in cities as varied as New York, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Istanbul or Vienna. The project is now hosting a global roadshow with regular appearances in the major fashion capitals: London, Paris and Milan, in addition to the fashion week held in Porto, Portugal.
ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs is a private law association of public utility and member of the Portuguese Economic and Social Council. Since 1986, it has been institutionally representing young Portuguese entrepreneurs nationally and internationally and providing them with support for their business activities. It is now one of the main national players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, with around 5,500 members, 8 incubation and acceleration centres nationwide and five regional centres (North, Centre, Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, the Alentejo and the Algarve).
Amadou Labba Sall: email@example.com
Monica Neto: firstname.lastname@example.org