Our GFF Talent this week is Ayliffe Scott, a Fashion Communications and Branding graduate from Arts University Bournemouth. Hailing from South Africa, Ayliffe was inspired by her home country in her final project, a showroom and website which aim to promote and provide a platform for young African designers who struggle to find a market at home.
What was the starting point of inspiration for your final project?
Coming from South Africa I wanted a concept that would allow me to work and promote African designers. My initial research into the fashion and textiles industry highlighted the difficulties that young designers on the continent face when trying to establish a market. Africa is thriving with creative talent, yet there is no platform or support for them, instead the fashion market is flooded with imported clothing at competitively low prices.
What form does your final project take?
My final outcome is a combination of a physical and digital. The physical output is a fashion showroom, and my digital outcome is a website platform that promotes and features designer profiles, providing the viewer with brand stories, contact information and social media content.
The website also features the designers look books, which I directed, styled and shot, with photographer Evie Harper on location in South Africa, creating an emphasis on collaboration to create content. The website also has a blog, created by South African English student Gemma Mae Strohbach, who collaborated to create create further information and interesting content such as interviews and opinion pieces.
How has it evolved from your initial ideas and what have you learnt along the way?
My initial idea was to create an online concept store that supported emerging African streetwear designers. However it has naturally evolved realising my vision as a showroom, as my market research revealed this would open up more opportunities for the designers as well as have a wider market reach. Throughout this process I have gained many new skills and a deeper understanding of marketing and business planning, which I believe will be useful in supporting future career opportunities.
What is the message behind your project that you want people to take away?
I would like my project to highlight that fashion is global and that the young fashion designers of Africa have a lot to contribute to the industry. Despite the many obstacles, political stability and lack of support, their designs are exciting and deserved to be showcased.
What is your plan once you finish your BA?
I plan to travel to Australia and Asia in a working and living capacity. During my travels, I would like to keep focus and continue to build experience in styling, creative direction and fashion film.