By Lisa Lockwood
The Folklore, a New York City-based online concept store and wholesale showroom that distributes luxury and emerging designer brands from Africa, has partnered with Orange Mentorship, the educational art of Nigerian men’s wear brand Orange Culture, to launch a contest aimed at empowering future African fashion designers.
It has launched a Make, Believe Contest which provides an opportunity for African designers who are based in Africa to gain global retail experience and a one-year mentorship with Orange Culture founder Adebayo Oke-Lawal.
In addition, the winner will receive a digital feature in Nataal Magazine and be provided with a grant to produce their three winning designs. The winner’s designs will be sold exclusively at The Folklore’s online shop, which carries such designers as Pichulik designer Katherine-Mary Pichulik, Orange Culture designer Oke-Lawal, Tokyo James designer Tokyo James and Maxhosa designer Laduma Ngxokolo.
The Folklore works with brands from more than a dozen countries including South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.
Applications will be accepted starting Sept. 21. In order to qualify, participants must submit three sketches along with a 150-word description about the three designs, including fabric, inspiration and any unusual product elements. Participants are also required to follow social media handles Orange Mentorship, The Folklore and Nataal in order to have a valid entry. All submissions must be submitted by Oct. 4. Once the competition is closed, The Folklore will showcase all entries on their site for public voting on Oct. 5 through 18. The crowd favorites will then move to the semifinals where the Orange Mentorship and The Folklore teams will review the finalists and select a winner. The winner will be revealed on Nov. 3 on social media.
The Folklore was in the news earlier this summer when Amira Rasool, founder of The Folklore, complained that Taylor Swift was offering merchandise bearing “The Folklore Album” label accompanying her new album, “Folklore.” Rasool claimed it was causing confusion in the marketplace. Swift quickly changed the name of her merchandise to “Folklore Album.”