Africa Fashion Awards 2010, the Truth on the Judging Process

Since the announcement of winners at the 2010 Africa Fashion Awards (AFA) on July 5th, 2010, there have been cynicism, from Africa’s fashion industry, on why the late pop star Michael Jackson and Ex-Supermodel Grace Jones would be winners at the AFA Awards. Robyn Cooke/Style Guide Blogger, who was one of the judges, makes the process transparent with her write up on how decisions were made. Marie Claire’s Fashion Director Sharon Bekker, Arieta Mujay (PR of River Island, UK), Fern Mallis (Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week), Style Guide Blogger and AFI Emma Jordan made up the panel of judges.

“I was a judge on the Africa Fashion Awards. You may not know this as I wasn’t at the awards ceremony as I needed to get back to work. But let me give you my perspective on the judging process and the outcomes. Why not?

One of the things I insisted on when agreeing to be a judge, was that the entire process was transparent. There was to be no political posturing, and no special affiliations due to sponsors or influence of the organisers. And so it was. I can promise you that. Extensive research was done. Each judge was presented with a pack with a long list of possible candidates in each category. Each judge voted for their top three against a strict set of criteria, which was referred back to continually throughout the process. Additional names were allowed to be suggested at this point. These were all combined and the over-all top three were then put forward as a short list of nominations. Each nominee was informed and one or two declined the nomination. This was taken into account, but generally not adhered to as it would dilute the process. A round table, face-to-face meeting was held in a locked room for all the judges to discuss and vote on the winners. You’d be surprised how many winners were voted unanimously.

* Designer of the Year: Africa – Black Coffee [Not my choice. I was out-voted on this one. Everyone else voted for BC, I voted for Clive Rundle. I think he is awesome]
* Designer of the Year: International – Duro Olowu [Unanimous]
* Emerging Designer of the Year: Africa – Ituen Basi [Unanimous

Read the rest here.

Photocredit: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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