3 women of African descent posing in futuristic goggles

Welcome to the TechStiched Fashion Residency Programme, where innovation meets tradition in the heart of Ethiopia. Presented by the British Council Ethiopia in partnership with the Hub of Africa Fashion Week, our programme is more than just a showcase—it's a celebration of collaboration and cultural exchange within the vibrant African fashion landscape.

At its core, the TechStiched Fashion Residency Programme is about fostering connections and embracing diversity. Selected designers from prestigious fashion weeks across the continent, including Accra Fashion Week, Swahili Fashion Week, South Africa Fashion Week, and Lagos Fashion Week, will come together for a unique exploration of Ethiopia's rich cultural heritage.

Programme Objectives 

Fostering Continental Collaboration 

The programme's primary goal is to facilitate collaboration and synergy among continental fashion weeks. By bringing together key stakeholders from Accra, Swahili, South Africa, and Lagos Fashion Weeks, we aim to establish a dynamic platform for cross-cultural exchange, learning, and future collaborations. 

Hands-on Craftsmanship in Arba Minch 

Selected designers, carefully chosen by Accra, Swahili, South Africa, and Lagos Fashion Weeks, will embark on a transformative journey. Starting in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, these designers will actively engage in traditional hand-woven techniques at Jano Handicraft Enterprise—Shimena. Workshops will cover weaving, spinning, natural dye techniques, and block printing. 

Creation of Fusion Outfits

Following the residency in Arba Minch, designers will return to Addis Ababa to undergo a design thinking day. Subsequently, they will work at Kabana Leather workshop, creating approximately three fusion outfits. These outfits will seamlessly blend the designers' unique touch and cultural influences with traditional Ethiopian materials. 

Innovative VR Technology Showcase 

The programme goes beyond the tangible world of fashion, focusing on innovative VR technology. Guzo Technologies will conduct a curated workshop, aiming to showcase the three pieces from each designer through VR. This not only offers a novel approach to presenting fashion designs but also opens avenues for collaboration and a shared digital showcasing platform among Fashion Week representatives. 

When and Where

Scheduled from the 17th to the 29th of March 2024, this residency programme promises an immersive experience unlike any other. Set against the backdrop of Addis Ababa and Arba Minch, Ethiopia, it's a journey that transcends borders and blends creativity with craftsmanship.

Three people of African descent posing in different locations out doors

Programme Activities

Participants will delve into traditional hand-woven techniques and vibrant color palettes, guided by local artisans and experts. Through workshops on weaving, spinning, natural dye techniques, and block printing, designers will not only hone their skills but also gain a deeper appreciation for Ethiopia's artisanal traditions.

But it's not just about craftsmanship—it's also about innovation. In a world propelled by technological advancement, our programme is at the forefront of fashion showcasing. Through a curated workshop on Virtual Reality (VR) technology, designers will venture into the digital realm, transforming their creations into immersive experiences for a global audience.

Grand Fashion Showcase

The culmination of this journey is a grand fashion showcase where designers will unveil their fusion outfits, seamlessly blending their unique design aesthetics with Ethiopia's cultural fabric. From intricately woven textiles to avant-garde designs, each piece will be a testament to the transformative power of creative collaboration and cross-cultural exchange.

Beyond the runway, the TechStiched Fashion Residency Programme will spark conversations about the future of the African fashion industry. Through roundtable discussions and curated workshops, stakeholders explore innovative pathways for growth and global visibility, ensuring a brighter future for fashion on the continent.