After its debut in February 2013, the independence month, organisers have disclosed that the second edition of The Gambia Fashion Week (TGFW), an international event organised by the Swedish-based Runway Productions International Company, will take place in Banjul at the end of the year.
The Week is expected to attract top-notch fashion personalities, notably from Europe, to The Gambia for a week-long fashion and entertainment programme that will take place in selected venues within the Greater Banjul Area.
The GFW formed part of the Runway Productions International’s agenda to promote talents from all around the world, with a keen interest in West Africa.
The Agency that targets smaller and new brands and looking to gain further recognition as a leading high fashion brand within the fashion industry is renowned for organising events like this. Its clients include famous and regular brands such as Fifth avenue shoe repair, Stephen Arthur, Richmond Design and Sara Braave, amongst others.
The first edition saw the participation of both Gambian and European models and designers in shows held at the Duplex Night Club and other places. Whilst it is an event that seeks to promote Gambian and African talents in fashion and modeling, however the event also has a great potential of further promoting the country as a major tourism destination as well as an investment haven given its proximity to Europe and its peaceful nature.
Speaking to TheGambia.Nu in an interview, Gambian-Swedish-based Aysha Jones-Ceesay, said although the first edition was not as successful as planned, however they are ready to make the second edition a very successful event. For that reason, she informed TheGambia.Nu that they have changed the whole nature of TGFW, but kept the vital attributes of the concept – that it is a seven-day event that will be a combination of fashion and entertainment with participants drawn from national and international.
“The second edition will feature events like visit to schools and hospitals, photoshoot at Seaview Hotel and Amoré, media day, fashion shows at Seaview, VIP mingle at Amore, After-party at Crystal and Sunday beach party at Palma Rima (free drinks and ebbeh). One ticket for all happenings, at a reasonable price made for everybody to be able to watch the shows and such,” the fashion entrepreneur explained the changes to the programme.
Commenting on the shortcomings of the first edition, the RPI chief executive officer admitted that they registered some failures that hindered the success of the event.
“We failed to promote the event as it should be due to lack of sponsorship from companies that first promised to sponsor and shortly before the event never came up with agreed deal. Our housing partner failed us completely and we ended up having to pay for housing which we didn’t budget for. TGFW was set to be a seven-day event but since Gambians are not used to that type of events, the crowd failed us. We ended up only having shows 3 three days. Also ticket sales were out too late leaving people confused about how and where to buy tickets. There were also was also confusion between TFGW and Gambia Fashion Weekend led people wondering if the same event is happening again as the fashion weekend took place before our event. It also led to confusion for sponsors as they thought its the same event asking for new sponsorship within such short period of time. But this time around we have changed the whole nature of TGFW,” she explained.
While anticipating a good show this time around, Aysha Jones-Ceesay concluded by expressing their most sincere gratitude to those companies and individuals within and outside The Gambia that have been partnering with them.
“We will just as we did last year, bring along free gifts for our crowd. These gifts are soon ready to be shipped to The Gambia from Sweden and other European countries. We hope to see a better crowd this time as this event is made by and for Gambians. None of the organisers are in this for a personal gain of any kind.
TGFW is a non-profitable organisation which strives for a better tomorrow for fashion entrepreneurs and those working in fields like art, music and entertainment,” she concluded.