The Port Harcourt Fashion and Design Week is a three-day fashion event targeted at promoting sustainable development through stimulating youths who have interest and potentials in the fashion industry, with the necessary tools that will enable, encourage and support their aspirations of being successful and economically empowered youths. The event also aims at increasing the visibility of the fantastic home grown fashion, showcasing the creative talents that abound in this part of the country while highlighting the culture and sophisticated glamor inherent in the people of port Harcourt and South-South at large through the language of fashion. It is a market place for the creative minds to connect with the Media and Buyers, creating industry opportunities and relationships.
In 2019 when we first launched the Port Harcourt Fashion and Design week brand, the theme of the event was “Fashion…the new Oil and Gas” The essence was to draw attention to the creative industry, celebrate Sme’s who are already making impact in that sector and encourage youths who had interest in the industry to genuinely pursue their interest. Port Harcourt Hitherto have been known as the Oil rich city and youths who could not find themselves in the oil and gas sector felt out of place. That narrative needed to change and we were able to achieve it through the Master classes facilitated by veterans of the Fashion Industry, Lexy Mojo Eyes, Frank Osodi, celebrity makeup artist, Marco Louis who came all the way from South Africa to teach and inspire our youths, entrepreneurship coach and formal president of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce Engr. Emeka Unachukwu and Mrs Gift Nwankwo.
This year, thanks to the Vlisco Creative Promise in Fashion Contest of 2019, many of the youths are ready and so eager to see what the fashion week holds for them, as they cannot wait to unveil their creative skills while we intend to bring to the attention of the government and policy makers, how much this industry can help in Revitalizing the economy of the state while establishing port Harcourt as a tourist destination.
Historically the fashion industry has been used to uplift urban-based development objectives and the sector continues to be viewed as an important tool for economic and tourism development at a local and international level. Cities like Paris, Milan, London and New York have long been applauded for their thriving fashion industries they have achieved a strong position as international fashion capitals of the world. In Africa, South Africa have also used Fashion Tourism as a vehicle to project its cities while Lagos Nigeria is not left out.
It is on this premise that that this year’s theme, “Revitalizing the Economy through Fashion Tourism" was borne.
During the Fashion Week, the idea is for the world to beam its light on the city of Port Harcourt, enjoying the culture and sophistication that abound with the people.