Tag Archives: London Fashion Week

Meet The Fashion Designer Who Escaped A Civil War In Sierra Leone To Launch A Contemporary Fashion Label In The UK That Is Set To Change The World


Born in the Eastern town of Kono, Sierra Leone Isatu Harrison was raised by her entrepreneurial single mother with her 3 siblings. Whilst living in Kono, civil war broke out which put her community in danger. Her entire family had to escape from the civil war in Kono and moved to the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown.


Despite being uprooted from her family home, Isatu had a happy upbringing and knew that there was much more to Sierra Leone than the war which seemed to define it at the time. She grew up watching her mother design outfits for herself and others using traditional West African tie-dyed prints. In a country with no welfare system, Isatu’s mother worked hard to ensure that her family did not have to struggle and Isatu hails her mother as her biggest inspiration and influence. Despite there being very few opportunities, particularly within the fashion industry in Sierra Leone, Isatu was encouraged to pursue her purpose and developed her gifts as a fashion designer.
Although her passion for fashion was still at the forefront of her mind, when Isatu arrived in The UK in 2001 she studied a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at South Bank University and subsequently an MBA.  The corporate world overshadowed the creative world and Isatu undertook a number of management roles in HR within the private and public sectors – including Transport for London.


After starting a family with her husband, and having a daughter who now has a budding career in modelling, Isatu could no longer ignore her true calling; fashion. She invested her savings and started her own fashion label, Izelia which interweaves the two cultural landscapes of Britain and Sierra Leone.


Isatu officially launched Izelia at Africa Fashion Week in August 2014 and London Fashion Week in the same year. By drawing from her Sierra Leonean heritage Isatu has created a modern and sophisticated range of ready to wear pieces. Izelia is a brand for those who want to make an impression in stylish and colourful outfits with high quality fabrics and structured tailoring. Each piece features a new twist on African-inspired fashion and Isatu’s own signature style of design.
By combining colourful African tie-dye and prints, Izelia brings a taste of Sierra Leone to the British high street. Having seen the impact that civil war can make on communities, Isatu wants to be at the forefront of a new generation of ‘AfriCapitalists’ – African entrepreneurs driving growth, awareness and development in Africa, through marketing and selling the best that Africa has to offer.

Isatu opened a boutique last Winter (2016)  in East London where she organises training programmes and apprenticeships opportunities for immigrants / first generation citizens in fashion design.


“I intend to inspire and assist women in rural Sierra Leone, be a voice for these women and young creatives. Whilst the brand is becoming well entrenched in the UK, as an African, I feel I have a role to play in the economic development of my continent. Through Izelia, I wish to invest long-term in Sierra Leone’s private sector and I am interested in developing manufacturing, as well as production factories and establishing additional outlets in Africa. I am proud to be among a growing crop of entrepreneurs who are creating employment opportunities and bringing economic growth to our countries across Africa” – Isatu Harrison

Isatu is set to take the fashion industry by storm in the UK, Sierra Leone and across the world.

 

By: Ronke Lawal

Transitioning Into A/W 2014…#BurberryProrsum Inspires…

An injection of colour into your wardrobe can really brighten up your transitional style. Work some mellow yellows into your colour palette and ease into autumn with uber chic stylish layers.  For the colder months, add colourful tights for a bit of quirk, personality and warmth. Inspired by Burberry Prorsum London Fashion Week A/W 2014 collection, I hope you like the styling x.

Get inspired, define, create & splurge.

BY Adaobi Iwenofu

As Seen At Burberry Prorsum London Fashion Week A/W 2014
SOPHIA WEBSTER
Riko cutout patent-leather sandals
£525

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD ANGLOMANIA
Renee felt-paneled leather jacket
£595

 

black Up Lipsticks in: no 17 Matte Finish & no 20 Matte Finish
HERVÉ VAN DER STRAETEN Hammered gold-plated necklace £365
HERVÉ VAN DER STRAETEN Hammered gold-plated necklace £365
MARNI
Gold-plated pyrite earrings
£250

TOPSHOP UNIQUE
High-rise pleated wool-twill culottes
£165
ZARA LEATHER CITY BAG WITH ZIP £89.99

Duro Olowu Lures With Elizabeth de Lanux Influence For His RTW Collection

Inspired by Elizabeth de Lanux, for  his 10th year anniversary Duro Olowu gets our fashionable juices gushing and strongly nearly makes us defiant of the biblical commandment – Thou Shall Not Covet’ with this utterly divalicous collection for his A/W 2014 Ready To Wear Collection at London Fashion Week.

Showcased at the Savoy, the collection was an infusion of vintage art deco glam, vibrant gay Paris of the 20’s, sublime hues and textures so rich at first sight – you just want to caress. Now on the structures and cuts? Fair to say we’ve been bowled over, so must stop typing as we are utterly moorishly in-love!

 “Fabric is the one thing that we all have in common, it’s a universal language. You will find denim in Lagos and Tennessee.” – Duro Olowu.

View some of our fave pieces…totes adore!

By @LovingMedia

We Can Do It!

 ‘We Can Do It…’ Fashion Industry Apprentices Create Youth Employment Legacy

Ahead of London Fashion Week, Apprentices at Fashion Enter are encouraging young people across the country to consider become apprentices with their ‘We can do it’ rallying call.  This marks the opening of applications for Creative Skillset’s new Higher Level Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles.

Bucking the trend of rising youth unemployment in the UK and in response to the success of their ‘Made In Britain’ clothing label, Fashion Enter has boosted employment opportunities for young people by increasing its intake of apprentices for Creative Skillset’s Fashion and Textile Apprenticeships and relocated to larger factory premises in North London.

Regional training providers such as Huddersfield Textile Centre of Excellence and KTL, based in the Midlands, report an increased interest from employers keen to adopt Creative Skillset’s Fashion and Textiles apprenticeship to ensure a motivated and skills focussed workforce for the future of the industry.

Kristen Lucas, 19, is one of four of Fashion Enter’s current apprentices and recognises the opportunities the apprenticeship is giving her. “The apprenticeship is so much better than I ever imagined it would be,” said Kristen.  “I am learning so much and it is opening my eyes to all the different options available in the fashion industry.  And I get to earn as I learn.”

Annie Warburton, Head of Partnerships at Creative Skillset, said: “With signs of a renaissance in UK clothing and textile manufacture, it is essential employers can attract and train highly skilled workers if they are to seize new market opportunities. Creative Skillset is proud to have developed pioneering Apprenticeships in Fashion and Textiles, and to work with leading businesses and trainers to equip the new generation of talent with skills for creative and commercial success.”

Jenny Holloway, Managing Director of Fashion Enter said: “We are all committed to the apprenticeship programme and now the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles provides new and exciting opportunities for both the individual and the fashion industry. Apprenticeships are 100% right for the current economic environment; employers need people that can ‘do’! On the job training is invaluable to success especially in garment manufacturing for that all important ‘Made in Britain’ label.”

Sophie Glover, Head of Technical Services at ASOS said: “ASOS prides itself in being passionate about people and developing talent for the future. It was because of this that we jumped at the opportunity to work with Fashion Enter on the roll out of the first Creative Skillset National Apprenticeship Scheme in apparel in January 2011.Our first Apprentices have successfully completed their courses and one of these Apprentices was such an asset that she is now a permanent employee at ASOS, as Assistant Technologist on our specialist departments. We would like to consider that we have developed a solid partnership with a collaborative approach to this fantastic opportunity for young people.”

On Tuesday 12th February, Fashion Enter will host an Apprenticeship Open Day at its Fashion Studio at the University of East London at the Knowledge Dock Business Centre bringing leading High Street Stores, clothing manufacturers and potential apprentices together with Creative Skillset for an informative workshop and job fair. On Thursday 14th February, The Factory will open its doors from 10.00am to 15.00pm for visitors to review the new facilities and meet the team.

 

Diva’s Pick: Aussie Miracles!

BACKSTAGE AT LONDON FASHION WEEK
Aussie partners with talented designer for this AW 12 Fashion show at Somerset House
 Inspiration: Aussie Ambassador Liz Taw created a textured wave at the Antipodium AW12 LFW show.  The hair exudes confidence by embracing its natural texture while the centre parting is youthful, confident and raw.  Aussie Ambassador, Liz Taw says of the look:
 
We’re using fingertips instead of combs for this look. The centre parting is deliberately uneven, creating natural, unfussy hair. The key to this look is texture.”  – Aussie Ambassador Liz Taw
 
How to get the look:
1.      Start by prepping the hair with Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo and Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor to bring out natural texture and movement.  
2.      Next, apply Aussie Aussome Texturising and Conditioning Gel Spray to the mid-lengths of the hair.
3.      Using your fingers split the hair into three even sections and then braid. Gently massage the braid, pulling sections away from the centre.
4.      Set the hair dryer onto a high heat and low air setting and dry the braid, making sure all the hair is completely dry.
5.      Once dry carefully release the braid, spraying a light mist of Aussie Aussome Volume & Conditioning Hairspray to add more wave through the hair.
6.      Finally, create a natural centre parting with your fingers to finish the look.
 
 
All products by Aussie: Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo 500ml (£5.99rrp), Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor (£4.99rrp), Aussie Aussome Texturising and Conditioning Gel Spray (£4.99rrp) Aussie Aussome Volume & Conditioning Hairspray (£4.99rrp)

Outfit Watch: Jessie J at LFW

 

Following in Nicki Minaj’s footsteps, Jessie J hobbled out in this cartoon-inspired outfit to attend the Giles Deacon show as part of London Fashion Week.

Now we have to admit, the trousers are kind of cool in a retro/back to school kind of way, but teamed with purple suede brogues, a see through top and purple wig, it’s just overkill!

Reproduced with the kind permission of Pappzd Magazine. www.pappzd.com  @Pappzd