The French Embassy has announced the launch the of Lagos-Paris Fashion & Design Accelerator, a 9-months programme (from October 2023 to June 2024) aimed toward supporting 10 high-potential Nigerian brands within the fashion and design ecosystem.
According to a statement on Thursday, the accelerator emphasizes on providing close mentorship, nurturing creativity, reinforcing business literacy and guiding Nigerian emerging creatives and their teams in navigating the French and global fashion industry.
The statement revealed that through this platform, the French Embassy in Nigeria aims at celebrating Nigerian creativity and cultural preservation initiatives, sustainable practices and cross-cultural collaborations, while giving the tools and skills for creatives to build long lasting and incremental financial growth for their company.
The statement added that the aim of the programme is not only to strengthen the entrepreneurial skills of 10 Nigerian brands, but also to support their export opportunities to France by participating in key events.
The programme, the statement said, has been thought in collaboration with several remarkable Fashion and Design stakeholders and its curriculum, which combines group and individual training, mentoring and master classes (over 120 hours per brand), has been defined in conjunction with renowned French and African experts and the Nigerian incubator for creative industry CCHUB, stressing that however, the laureate brands are considered in their singularity with a tailored accompaniment.
The statement also disclosed that the Accelerator will also close off with professional travels to Paris, designed to immerse the selected brands in the world capital of fashion via unique access to key industry players and events.
It stated that: “The Accelerator will comprise of: Physical tailored 1 on 1 courses on a broad range of subjects, with actual deliverables and tools; Monthly mentorship sessions; High-level masterclasses; Direct & indirect grants; Investment readiness module with pitching sessions to investors; Support to the participation to a French prescriptive event in 2024.
The statement revealed that the 10 brands selected for this 2023-2024 cohort, amongst more than 120 applications are:
– For Fashion: Lagos Space Programme, TJWHO Design, OBIDA, EKI KERE, ELEXIAY and WAF – Wafflesandcream Limited;
– For Accessories: MALIKO and Ethnic Africa;
– For Design: OMI Collective et Aga Design and Culture Limited.
The statement also said the Lagos-Paris Fashion & Design Accelerator is part of a global programme announced by the French President, Emmanuel MACRON in February 2023, called “Création Africa”. This programme’s aim is to increase support and resources to the French diplomatic network and its action toward the global ecosystem of creative and cultural industries.
The official launch of this initiative which will take place in Paris with a tremendous event to be held from 6 to 8 October, 2023 with dozens of talents from the worlds of animation, video games and cinema being showcased. A strong Nigerian delegation will attend.
It said: “As of such, the Embassy of France in Nigeria operates since June 2023 a €1.2 million fund to support entrepreneurs in the Nigerian cultural and creative industries in the fields of design, fashion, video games, audiovisuals and dance. The “Lagos-Paris Fashion & Design Accelerator” is financed via this grant.”
Michael Olugbode in Abuja