TORONTO–(COMMERCIAL WIRE)–The Bay is pleased to announce that Emefa Kuadey, designer and founder of israella KOBLA, has been selected as a beneficiary of The Bay’s Fashion Fund, an initiative created to mentor and support emerging BIPOC designers in Canada. Kuadey received a $25,000 grant along with a three-year mentorship program designed to address some of the hurdles new designers face when entering the competitive retail landscape.
Kuadey, born British of Ghanaian descent, began her career as a civil engineer. In 2017, Kuadey left the field of engineering to pursue her passion for design and enrolled at George Brown College. In 2019 she was invited to exhibit her work at Vancouver Fashion Week. Following the success of VFW, Emefa launched isarella’s debut collection KOBLA, released from captivitythat same year.
Inspiration for the Toronto-based brand comes from a juxtaposition of designer interests: fashion and engineering. Each collection is designed to transcend time, reinventing minimalism with a focus on innovative construction and quality finish.
Emefa said: “As an Afro-descendant designer, it has been important for me to redefine what an African-owned brand looks like and what clothes produced on the continent can look like in terms of quality and style. I currently produce KOBLA Israella in Toronto and have a goal of opening a secondary production facility in Ghana. My vision is to evoke the same feeling that “Made in Italy” brings to people, with contemporary “Made in Ghana” fashion.
“There is so much creativity and ingenuity among the fashion talent in Canada,” said Tyler Franch, vice president and chief fashion officer for The Bay. “It is incredibly important to create fairness in the industry and nurture this talent. Canadian fashion is inspired, diverse and world-class, and we need to celebrate that.”
The review and selection process was led by the Fashion Fund’s advisory board, comprised of some of the country’s leading industry and social changemakers.
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CAFA was created to support and celebrate the Canadian fashion industry. Through the recognition and promotion of outstanding achievement and emerging talent in Canadian fashion, CAFA is dedicated to creating greater appreciation and market for our artists both in Canada and abroad and to supporting the economic development of the fashion industry. Canadian. CAFA is committed to further developing and nurturing our local talent by creating mentoring and financial opportunities, as well as establishing collaborative partnerships that strive to unite the fashion community and the various existing fashion initiatives across the country. . Additional information can be found at www.cafawards.ca