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IFM and Birimian launch accelerator program dedicated to African emerging brands

By Esther Hut


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Photo: Courtesy of Simone & Elise

Paris-based fashion school Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) announced a partnership with Birimian, the first operational investment company dedicated to African luxury and premium heritage brands. Birimian and IFM are launching the IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa, an innovative acceleration program for emerging African heritage brands in the fashion, accessories, and jewelry sectors.

Every year for ten months, the program supports ten to fifteen emerging designers selected for their talent, originality, and potential by a creative committee of experts from the international creative scene. The emerging creative brands selected will be offered personalized support to help develop their business by a team of experts in the main areas that a creative company needs.

Institut Français de la Mode and Birimian sign partnership

Birimian also signed a partnership with WSN to increase the visibility of African brands and expand their opportunities for international distribution. Birimian and WSN plan to organize events as part of the acceleration program launched with IFM alongside Paris Market Week and Paris Fashion Week, highlighting the brands and designers in the program.

Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, Chair, and CEO of Birimian commented: “The partnerships announced today meet the objectives we set for ourselves when we launched Birimian: first, to support and train the new African creative cohort by strengthening their skills and expertise to ensure their level of excellence and second, to accelerate their development by helping them integrate into the fashion ecosystem and the international creative scene. In this sense, the two partnerships announced today complement each other perfectly, serving the influence of the history, tradition, and savoir-faire of African heritage in the international creative scene.”

Photo: Courtesy of Christie Brown

Xavier Romatet, Dean of Institut Français de la Mode, stated: “Through this accelerator, we will highlight Africa’s extraordinary creativity and exceptional talent thanks to an adapted and demanding capacity-building program based on IFM’s best practices. For us, it’s about giving them the educational tools necessary for their growth alongside access to an ecosystem of professionals, experts, and stakeholders in the international creative scene.”

Applications are open from June 28 to August 31, 2021, on Birimian's website.

African Fashion
Institut Francais de la Mode