It has been quite a while since I wrote one of these notes.
We opened our year in African fashion and in the months that followed, it became very apparent to me that there needed to be a shift in how we do business. I felt strongly in looking at the African fashion landscape that we could not continue with creating awareness at the expense of being about the business of fashion. While we had already made some adjustments prior to commencing 2013, more needed to be made. I just was unsure where the changes should be. I began to observe more, collect more data and statistics, synthesize and also look internally for clarity of direction.
After many months of reflection, observation and also soliciting input from my team of trusted advisors, the light bulb finally came on.
We have created awareness that Africa has fashion industries. Now, let’s talk and be about the business of fashion. Just showing tons and tons of fashion week pictures from the continent no longer cuts it for the Ladybrille platform. Accordingly, you should have noticed that Ladybrille has begun to fully embrace any and all things fashion business related. Encompassed in the business of fashion is the law i.e. fashion law and industry news. We need to know who are the names brokering what deals, their moves and how it is all panning out on the continent, even as we continue to shine the spotlight on African fashion in general.
Finally, I believe based on looking at the demand for a feature as ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Month,’ over the many years, that the coveted feature needed a revamp. We had too many dynamic women wanting a feature as woman of the month with only 12 spots to fill each year. It was no longer acceptable to just be confined to 12 women in 12 months.
When I am offline, I really do not see or come across a community of women, especially women of color and women of African heritage in particular that speak my story in my local community. It feels isolating as I go about my daily business.
When I get online, I still don’t see that community. Often we see lists that celebrate “powerful” “entrepreneurial” or “richest” women but African women are far and few between. Also, to the degree they make these lists, it is the same names over and over again. Surely there must be a generation of young African women who are making a difference in their communities across different industry sectors?
In fact, I know and see that there are local and international women leaders who are inspiring and changing their communities one neighborhood at a time. We just don’t hear about them as much, if at all. I believe we shouldn’t have to wait for mainstream media to celebrate these women before we do. We celebrate them, now. Further, for the women trailblazers who are already being celebrated white, black, asian, hispanic, we also want to continue to celebrate them. Ladybrille has always stood for this principle. Therefore, 12months yielding only 12 women to celebrate is simply not enough. It is why starting next week, we will convert our monthly woman of the week feature to ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Week.’
When all is said and done, I want Ladybrille to also be an unapologetic powerfully rich and resourceful platform for women leaders, especially young women leaders of African heritage, to go to. Accordingly, I hope you join me in embracing our new format of ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Week.’
If you are a woman or know of a woman who should be celebrated as a ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Week,’ please feel free to email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Week’ is a feature on Ladybrille that celebrates women who empower themselves and others, through their contributions and actions, in their local and international communities. These women are intelligent, courageous, confident, and innovative. They strive for balance in their personal lives (whether emotionally, mentally, and spiritually), are persistent, and when they fall, they get right back up. These women honor and stand in their truths. They are business and community leaders, visionaries, and game changers. They are our sisters, aunties, mothers, friends and so much more. They are “Ladybrille” (brilliant) women.
/s/ Uduak Oduok
Uduak Oduok, Esq.