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Vlisco Fashion Fund winners visit The Netherlands for master class and more
The Vlisco Fashion Fund winners Belinda Ofori, Constance Mensah and Sali Ouattara visited The Netherlands to follow a Master Class, as part of their award. The Vlisco Fashion Fund is a Vlisco contest that is established to support emerging designers in starting and strengthening their own fashion skills and businesses. Each prizewinner received a fund and a Master Class in tailoring at ‘Coupeur’, a renowned tailor academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
About the designers
Constance Mensah @efuastanzz
The Ghanaian Constance is a graphic designer by day, and fashion designer by night. Together with her mother, who is the Efua to her Stanzz, she makes ready-to-wear and bespoke items for their Accra-clientele, under their brand name Efua Stanzz. Though her mother taught her the ins and outs of tailoring, Constance is currently fine-tuning her skills at the Master Class in Amsterdam.
Belinda Ofori @turquoise_bel
Twenty-five year old Belinda is the latest winner of the Ghanaian Fashion Fund. She has recently made her definite transition from still being a part-time graphic designer, to full-time fashion designer. She is enjoying every minute of her skyrocketing label Turquoise.
Sali Ouattara @liliicreation
Sali is travelling in and out the country for her successful label Lilii Creation, that sells a wide range of ready-to-wear clothing for both men and women. In her busy schedule, she managed to find a moment to join her fellow designers in the Master Class.
The Master Class
The Master Tailor Institute
During their trip, the fashion fund winners followed a master class of several days at the renowned Master Tailor Institute in Amsterdam. The institute, known for their high standards and meticulousness, is where established names of the European high-fashion scene obtained their degree. In the course, the fashion fund winners developed their skills at the highest level, and are created some stunning pieces along the way!
Discovering Vlisco inside out
Constance, Belinda and Sali visited several of Vlisco’s departments for business planning training, product training, and to learn about the history, identity and craft of the Vlisco brand and its designs. They were guided through Vlisco’s vibrant creative department where they met designers, which was a special encounter as the girls were actually wearing designs created by the Vlisco designers that they met. They entered the enchanting archive that harvests over 350.000 Vlisco designs and original drawings. And of course, they toured through the factory, where they could see how a 170 years old craft brings every Vlisco design to life.
When I started the Master Class, I was rushing in to making a design for my skirt. But then the teacher Fabiane told me to study the fabric first, and from there on make the design,” Belinda says. “This led to a completely different result. Now I let the fabric speak to me. It tells me what to do in my design.
Master Class - Part II
After the first week of the Master Class, the upcoming designers enjoyed a well-deserved weekend of shopping and roaming the streets of Amsterdam, before getting back to business at the Master Tailor Institute, the Vlisco marketing department and the Dutch high-fashion scene.
As publicity is part of every business, the Fashion Fund winners joined Vlisco’s marketing department for presentations and workshops about the latest secrets and trends in content and marketing. Talent met talent when Belinda, Constance and Sali got a sneak peek in the ateliers of renowned haute couturiers Claes Iversen and Viktor&Rolf.
The schedule of the Master Tailor Institute started with pattern placement and making a skirt in the first week, and was followed by moulage, draping techniques and making a corset in the second week, which led to enchanting theatrical results.
I have learned how to finish garments in an impeccable manner.