The Impact Fund for African Creatives (“IFFAC”) and in association with the African Fashion Foundation (“AFF”) is pleased to announce a partnership with Kenneth Ize & nmbello Studio to host the Kenneth Ize Loom Exhibition in Accra. This Exhibition will showcase a design collaboration between Fashion Designer, Kenneth Ize and Industrial Designer, Nifemi Marcus-Bello of nmbello Studio.
The Exhibition which will show prototypes, sketches, interviews and collaboration with the weaving and artisan community will be hosted at the Galleria located at Mhoseenu, in Accra from May 22nd to May 24th.
The Exhibition which is themed, a redesign of the Kenneth Ize Loom, will highlight the constraints and design process behind creating a contemporary weaving loom for Kenneth Ize’s third-generation weavers. The Exhibition will also explore the ideology and theory behind material selection, ergonomic and anthropometric input and changes by nmbello Studio and Kenneth Ize.
A 4-minute film highlighting the collaboration thus far, including the findings and thoughts behind the design process will premiere to showcase the achievements of the project. This film was commissioned by the African Fashion Foundation and funded by IFFAC.
Kenneth Ize’s label has been devoted to the long-established traditions of Nigerian craft and local artisanship and continues to merge a new design aesthetic with a specifically local handcraft practice. This is founded on the strong belief that in exploring and nurturing existing cultures, one opens up an exciting territory for creating and inspiring future traditions. Led by Nifemi Marcus-Bello, nmbello Studio also values the creation of sustainable and economically viable products and solutions by identifying underutilized or neglected production techniques and technology.
Kenneth is a grant beneficiary of the Impact Fund For African Creatives which supported him to keep women employed during the pandemic by donating Looms to women who weave for his collections in villages across Nigeria. Other organizations such as Afreeculture, ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge have also received similar grant support from IFFAC.
The Exhibition will be facilitated in Accra by AFF under IFFAC sponsorship.
Kenneth Ize is one of the many beneficiaries of AFF and an IFFAC grant awardee having served as the first fellow following a 2014 competition in Lagos. As part of his fellowship package, he went on a 6-month internship with the LVMH group out of Paris.
AFF and IFFAC are Roberta Annan led initiatives focused on empowering fashion designers and creative professionals from Africa and its diaspora to succeed in the global fashion industry. AFF has been consistently committed to providing professional and educational developmental opportunities in partnership with established players in the fashion industry to support the success and progression of the African creative economy. IFFAC working closely with AFF and other ecosystem partners is focused on the management and deployment of grants to create impact by providing complete end to end support from the incubator, to accelerator services and start-up funding in the form of grants and/or concessionary-interest loans.
Roberta Annan, CEO of IFFAC commented that “we are extremely excited to be sponsoring this event in partnership with the AFF to showcase the impactful work which our fellow Kenneth has been doing with the rural women of Nigeria. This is an example of the type of work that IFFAC is committed to doing where we holistically develop and catalyse the African creative segments across formal and informal sectors. As we continue to engage with our partners we look forward to more exciting announcements in coming months”.