The Start-Up Night! Africa event in London was the perfect occasion for a unique collaboration amongst the women entrepreneurs being showcased on the night - a joint fashion photoshoot featuring all the creations and products on show from each of the women pitching their businesses.
Coordinating a fashion shoot is always interesting, but it takes on a whole new dimension when you have ten brands to feature in the same photo session. This was the challenge at the Start-Up Night! Africa event, held at the Oxo Tower on London’s South Bank on the evening of 26 April. Taking up the challenge to coordinate models, photographers, stylists, and products for the shoot, was the wonderfully creative Hazel Aggrey-Orleans, founder of luxury fashion Eki Orleans, one of the brands being photographed on the night.
The brief was to capture the real spirit of collaboration between all the women entrepreneurs being showcased on the evening, in a series of photographs that would celebrate all the proudly African-inspired designs, products and brands on display. The featured silk designer gown worn by guest model Mona M Ali came from Hazel Aggrey-Orleans’ beautiful new Eki Orleans collection; bold jewellery pieces were provided by the uniquely creative Adele Dejak, whose brand of the same name is winning fans around the world; handbags were provided by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, founder of luxury handwoven accessory brand AAKS; beautifully ornate, handcrafted shoes came from Afua Dabanka, co-founder of accessory brands Monaa and Mo Saique. Props for the shoot were provided by Eva Sonaike, founder of the luxury interior design brand of the same name; Kim Addison, founder of luxury handmade chocolate brand, 57 Chocolate; Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, co-founder of Gorilla Conservation Coffee; Mimi Shodeinde, founder of Miminat; Swaady Martin, founder of Yswara; and Brenda Wilkinson, co-founder of Rio Largo Olive Oil.
The resulting photographs not only celebrate the incredible depth of creative talent on the African continent and the Diaspora, but also a wonderful collaborative spirit that exists amongst women entrepreneur global brand builders.