Ecowas Fashion Week has honored Liberian Fashion designer and promoter Junda Morris Kennedy as ‘Fashion Icon Facilitator’ at the just-ended Ecowas fashion week in Benin, Cotonu.
Junda has said that winning the honor will help to shine light on the emerging Liberian fashion industry. Liberia has many creative people that could benefit from a vibrant fashion industry; but only if they have the proper education so that the industry can produce garments for export under the AGOA Art.
“My plan for the Liberian Fashion Industry is huge. I would like to see the first Liberian fashion designs degree program introduced in the country, and I have engaged Professor Lovette Azango of Cuttington University, designer Chris Collins and many top fashion educators on this project. We are working on getting logistics to make this dream a reality.”
She added that another part of this plan is to see quality-produced garments, made by Liberian fashion professionals, available for costumer in and out of Liberia.
“Buyers are interested in sourcing garments from Liberia in large quantities. But the problem on hand is the lack of a market structure to enable them get orders filled out in a timely manner,” Mrs. Kennedy noted.
“I will use this award as a platform to launch the Liberian Fashion and Arts Council, an institution for Liberian creative professionals,” she says, adding that the organization will provide advance training in career guidance and opportunities, education, training and resources, work-life-dream balance, among others.
“I truly appreciate this recognition. To all Liberian fashion professionals out there this one is for you and the journey has just begun. Thanks for believing and allowing me to be the voice for the Liberian industry,” she posted on Facebook after winning the award.
Mrs. Kennedy explained that if the fashion industry gets the needed support from government and the public in general, the industry would be on par with the rest of the continent, providing revenues for the country.
“I asked every Liberian to kindly support fashion products made from the industry,” she added.
Apart from fashion, Mrs. Morris has ventured into promoting Liberian music, recently teaming up with Nigerian DJ Oladex and music promoter Afrique Carib to produce a mix tape called “Liberia Meets Naija.” But it has not been released yet.
“Liberian music and fashion are dear to my heart,” says Mrs. Kennedy. “Young artists coming on the scene in Liberia are absolutely talented; all they are lacking is money and proper mastering of their skills. But trust me the tables are turning,” she concluded.
Liberian Fashion designer Chris Collins, who showcased his designs at last year’s Ecowas Fashion Week, was also recognized.