U.S. Embassy Women’s Symposium: Taking Empowerment One Step Further
Cameroonian designer Kibonen Nfi of Kibonen NY, participant in the U.S. Embassy Yaounde Women’s Symposium, March 2012, took part in the Africa Fashion Week New York (AFWNY) which held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, July 11, 2012. The event was sponsored by the International Trade and Marketing Department in partnership with Adiree – organizers of AFWNY. She showcased her collection, Flair Belle by Kibonen NY which spoke for itself and got a lot of rave reviews by the press - “I am absolutely in love with her designs. This was my favorite for the day. The designs are stylish and present African prints elegantly missed in with other textiles. The oversize clutches were great ad-ons”. Ekua – www.africanfashioninprints.blogspot.com
Kibonen Nfi says that she owes her renewed energy to the U.S. Embassy Women’s Symposium on active engagement in political, entrepreneurial and cultural development of Cameroon that held at the U.S. Embassy Yaounde in March 2012 – organized by Mignon Turner (Cultural Affairs Officer and Gladys Viban, Cultural Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Embasy). “I was just coming out of a disastrous situation in my career. This symposium put me back on course with the tips I received from experts like Caroline Kendem Sack, who participated in the State Department funded African Women Entrepreneurship program. I connected with her and she put me back on rails.”
Today, I am a strong arm of AFWNY’s Cameroon Collective (CFI), a coalition of designers benefiting from one of the programs offered by the Cameroon Fashion Industry common initiative group (CFI - CIG) to expose, educate and train local designers to the inner workings of the entire fashion industry at national and international levels.
CFI is also proud to announce the opening of a new onsite boutique under the management of Kibonen Nfi, hence known as Made in Camer Boutique. This is a fair trade boutique that mainly houses clothing, accessories, and footwear handmade in and by Cameroonian designers. We will also feature beads from “My Beads Space” by Jacqueline Kamsu who was recently here in the U.S. to participate in the President’s 2012 Innovation Summit - Mentoring Partnership for Young African Leaders program.
“It was heart- warming to see a small vision we had come to light. Even though the team was supposed to be bigger we hope that in the future our vision can be realized with more participants. We have amazing plans for the Cameroon Fashion Industry. It’s all about assisting in our own little way to the overall development of the industry in Cameroon and to encourage all the women entrepreneurs in Cameroon who took part in the Women’s Symposium in the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde, never to let their dreams and visions die. No vision is too little.”
For more information
Ihuoma Mambo Atanga (ChiChi)
Cameroon Fashion Industry, Common Initiative Group
Cameroonfashionindustry.org (under construction)
Office: 646 918 6313
Cell: (412 736-6087)