Young Ghanaian designers, Steve French and Afua Biney have been selected as part of Gucci’s Design Fellowship Program.
Steve and Afua join 9 other young designers from around the world to benefit from this programme.
The Design Fellowship Program is part of Gucci’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives to promote cultural exchange between designers coming from different backgrounds and launched in March.
It is meant to offer opportunities to underrepresented groups of talents in partnership with 10 fashion schools in 10 countries (Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, China, Japan, Korea, Dubai, U. S. and Mexico).
Five finalists for each school across different product categories were selected for a total of 50 finalists.
Steve, Afua and others were invited to Italy for a week to discover Gucci in Rome and Florence and this was an opportunity for Gucci’s design team to meet directly with them.
It was at the end of this that Gucci then selected 11 graduates — one more than was originally planned — and revealed with the event on Thursday that they will join the brand’s team in Rome starting from March 2020 for their fellowship.
Yes… Steve and Afua will be joining Gucci’s team in Rome for one whole year, starting in March 2020.
Actually, Steve didn’t make it to the original Top 10 that were selected, however, according to Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s president and chief executive officer, Steve was just so amazing that the Gucci team did not want to let him go so they had to make it Top 11 instead of Top 10.
“Their work was fabulous,” enthused Bizzarri was reported to have said by WWD.
“The 11th designer from Ghana was a decision taken today, the team didn’t want to let him go,” he reportedly added.
“Being exposed to different cultures is the best way to flourish,” said Bizzarri, praising the brand’s creative director Alessandro Michele’s willingness to open up his design studio and work with the fellows for a year.
“You need to be very brave and confident to do collaborations and see with different eyes. In most cases, people want to control, but for longevity, you need to leverage creativity and be open-minded,” the CEO of Gucci said.
Congratulations to Steve and Afua!
Source: Kuulpeeps.com with additional information from WWD
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