Afropé presents an interview with our fashion columnist Aysha Jones who is also the founder of African Fashion Week Stockholm (AFWS). The interview was made by Strawberryess / Amanda Cambronero Watson who was the blog ambassador for AFWS.
So, last month I told you the news about me being chosen to be Africa Fashion Week Stockholm blog ambassador. Im counting the days and I cannot wait for next month. Im super exited and to follow up with my blog ambassador duties I thought I would share with you an interview that I did with Aysha Jones, Creative director and owner of LeNoir Public Relations and LeNoir fashion. Founder of Africa Fashion Week Stockholm.
Tell me a little about yourself (education, profession etc).
I’m a mother of three born in Africa and raised in Sweden.
I work mainly as a PR manager and own the firm LeNoir PR. No education other than college, but I love school and plan on studying some time soon. I’m self thought in all my fields of work and think a strong mindset is worth more than anything if one wants to succeed in something.
How did you get into the fashion industry? What were you doing before?
I’ve always been ”stylish” but I got into the fashion industry by trying my luck as a model. Then stylist and from there I’ve done most things one can do in fashion apart from taking pictures as I’m lowsy with gadgets and technology. The only gadget I can operate as a pro is my iPhone!
Can you tell me a little bit about your business empire/ the bussiness you are part of?
Lol, love that you call it an empire as I barely see it as a full business yet!
Well as I said I’m the owner of LeNoir PR and also LeNoirFashion. A part from that I’m the founder of a blog network called Fashion 9one1that we’re making into a online magazine by the end of the year. Before I also used to coach models under the name of RareModels International, but as all models coached by me are now professional models working all over the world I kinda felt I’ve done my part in that area and now only do it for fun. And I’m also the founder and organizer of Africa fashion week Stockholm and The Gambia fashion week. The later mentioned one won’t be active again for a while as I’ve decided to invest in African creativity in other ways.
What would you said is the key to success? Do you have any business advice for people who are trying to make it in the fashion industry or any other business in general?
Simple. Go with your gut feeling and always believe in yourself!
Have a clear vision and a clean heart, put your trust in Gods timing and you are good.
What or who motivates you or inspires you to continue doing what you do?
My kids definitely motivate me the most but my family at large specially my husband that has to put up with my madness.
Also to achieve things I first thought I wouldn’t be able to do.
Why did you decide to start Africa Fashion Week Stockholm?
I felt Sweden was lacking a platform for black/African creativity to be uplifted and celebrated. In a society were people are so diverse and multicultural I don’t understand why no one did this before me and I’m a strong believer of not pointing out flaws if I don’t have suggestions on how to adjust them.
I also wanted to do something that hopefully would leave an impact in the world and create a legacy that the next and future generations can be proud of and enjoy.
How would you describe the fashion industry in Sweden/Skandinavia?
Lacking African flavor!
What is your favorite thing about Africa Fashion Week Stockholm?
The mix of creativity from music to fashion, beauty and such. But mostly that everyone is coming together to do something good for the sake of the black/African community sake.
Since the launch of Africa Fashion Week Stockholm, what has been your proudest moment to date? Not really sure. I’m not easily pleased with my own work but I’m proud of all the participants in AFWS. Both last year and this year.
What can we expect to see from this year Africa Fashion Week Stockholm and what are you most looking forward to about AFWS 2015?
Expect a good event with loads of entertainment in various ways, networking opportunities and happy people on their best behaviors!Definitely the main event fashion shows and gala night as I just decided to celebrate my 30th birthday on that day.But I also wanna try/learn things at the workshops/seminars and support African creativity buy shopping in the pop-up store.
Can you gives us any clues on what are going to wear during AFWS?
I’m honored to have two amazing designers dress me for AFWS 2015. Last years showcasing designer Elise Kabwe of KABELIS and a new designer, ISA by Fatima, that is debuting on this years AFWS. For the gala night I’m not yet sure if I’ll stay in one of the designers outfits or if I’ll sneak into a freakum dress that I can mess up without a guilty conscience lol.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Africa Fashion Week Stockholm?
I’d hope for it to be integrated in the main Stockholm fashion week and not its on thing as its now. I don’t believe that structure will do for the Swedish market in the long run. I’m also hoping on collaboration with bigger international fashion brands and platforms such as Stockholm fashion district, the Formex fair and such. Also hope on more frequent events that leads up to the big yearly one.