Mayor Aki-Sawyerr launches Freetown Fashion Design and Creative Arts Network
In 2020 Mayor Giuseppe Sala of Milan and Mayor of Freetown Aki-Sawyerr, co-founded the Mayors’ Dialogue – a city-led platform for Africa & Europe that aims to create opportunities and improve the lives of citizens, especially addressing the high levels of youth unemployment in many African cities that is a driver of irregular migration.
As Milan is a world leader in the fashion industry, they decided to centre their first city-to-city collaboration on fashion.
On Friday 16th December, after months of working together to identify opportunities for collaboration between the fashion design industries and creative communities in both cities, a significant milestone was achieved with the launch of the Freetown Fashion, Design and Creative Arts Network.
In partnership with and supported by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Labrum (a menswear fashion brand fusing British tailoring with West African design) the platform will be used to develop and channel opportunities for skills exchange between designers, broker networks and alliances amongst textile manufacturers, and more broadly support business development and investment in Freetown’s fashion industry.
The ultimate aim is to open the Milan market to Freetown fashion designers, thereby growing the industry and creating jobs.