Creative Africa Nexus and Portugal’s National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) Call for Applications for Second Edition of CANEX PRESENTS AFRICA @ PORTUGAL FASHION
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Cairo/Porto, 17 December 2021 African Export-Import Bank’s Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) and Portugal’s National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) are putting out a call for applications from Fashion Designers from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Diaspora to participate in the 2022 editions of the flagship programme, CANEX Presents Africa @ Portugal Fashion, to take place in Porto, Portugal from 16 to 19 March and 11 to 15 October 2022, respectively.
CANEX Presents Africa @ Portugal Fashion provides a platform for the development of emerging fashion designers, by supporting the transfer of skills through mentorship from industry experts, while providing market access opportunities, to boost production, sales and distribution. The programme aims to equip participants with the skills that will enable them to create financially sustainable businesses with the potential to scale, as well as provide support with go-to-market and internationalisation strategies.
The programme has a blended format, mixing physical events with digital elements to enable linkages and partnerships. It is designed to support a generation of entry to mid-level talent, through a customized approach, to up-skill and individually support the development and recognition of talent.
The inaugural edition took place from 12 to 16 October 2021. Twenty African designers from the continent and diaspora took part in this pioneering edition, where they were able to showcase their Spring/Summer ’22 collections on the runway, as well as on an exhibition platform designed to facilitate linkages between the designers and industry stakeholders including the press, investors, manufacturers and buyers. In addition to showcasing platforms, the programme also included mentorship and networking sessions between the designers and key international industry experts.
2022 ANNUAL DESIGNER SELECTION CRITERIA
Target: 20 Designers
Event Date: 16-19 March 2022, finalists to be announced on 25 January 2022
Location: Porto, Portugal
Deadline for applications: 10 January 2022
Target: 20 Designers
Event Date: 11 – 15 October 2022, finalists to be announced on 30 April 2022
Location: Porto, Portugal
Deadline for applications: 1 March 2022
• Applicants should be based in Africa or in Diaspora (including the Caribbean).
• Designers should have developed a strong signature style and be able to compete at an international level.
• Designers’ company must be registered, well established and have been in business for a minimum of 4 years.
• This programme is open to menswear, womenswear, accessories, jewellery, and footwear designers.
GENERAL ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Applications will be reviewed against the following criteria:
• Creative merit – applications need to demonstrate a coherent and strong aesthetic.
• Originality – a nouveau African approach to design and sustainability
• Commercial acumen, scalability, and innovation.
• Readiness to establish the brand in a global market.
• Proof of direct-to-consumer sales channels.
• Clear commitment to sustainability.
• Strong vision for the future of their brand with clearly defined business goals.
• Overall quality of the application.
Selected designers will fall in one of three categories: Main Runway, Bloom Runway and Brand Up exhibition as below:
MAIN CATWALK DESIGNERS (5 SLOTS)
Portugal Fashion Week’s main catwalk is an international platform that is open to designers and brands who have produced at least five womenswear, menswear or unisex collections. The project is open to invited designers and brands, who, in addition to the general criteria, meet the following:
• Stalwart of the industry with at least 5 years in the industry.
• Clear understanding of the business of fashion and its value chain.
• Innovative approach to challenges in garment making on the continent.
• Readiness to expand their manufacturing capacity and supply global markets.
BLOOM CATWALK DESIGNERS (3 SLOTS)
BLOOM Portugal Fashion is a platform for young designers and is open to designers under 35, those who have produced at least two womenswear, menswear, or unisex collections and who, in addition to the general criteria, meet the following:
• Recently penetrated the market (less than 4 years in the industry).
• Cohesiveness and consistency in design and fabrication.
• Commitment to independent design, adopting and/or using traditional crafts and sustainable methods of design
• Appropriate, suitable and commercially viable products.
• Demonstrate of the potential for growth and scale.
BRAND-UP EXHIBITION (12 SLOTS)
In addition to the runway designers, the BRAND-UP exhibition space will be open to designers of leather goods, accessories, and jewellery brands.
SUBMISSIONS AND SELECTION PROCESS
The Application must be submitted to the review panel in electronic format.
The electronic submissions must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the SUBJECT line: “FIRST and LAST NAME, CANEX 2022 Application.”
• Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by an independent panel of judges.
• The panel of judges includes international key industry leaders from academia, design, finance, manufacturing, media and digital.
• The selection process for applying to the “CANEX Presents Africa @Portugal Fashion” Programme will be carried out in two phases:
Submission of a completed form found here: https://forms.office.com/r/xJGCkSJtwC to email@example.com, with the following attachments in ENGLISH (uploaded) :
• Company Information.
• Short statement of how the applicant is contributing to the African fashion industry ecosystem.
• A PDF lookbook from the last two collections.
• A PDF file of the latest press book.
• Financial Information (sales and turnover).
• Vision for the development of the business over the next 2 years.
*No samples should be submitted unless requested.
Any questions regarding the application may also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the cohort selection has been officially communicated, the designers will be invited to sign an agreement that stipulates the conditions for participation. This will be followed by a designer introductory information pack that includes timelines, preparation and expectations leading up to the events in March and October 2022.
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