For the past five years I’ve ben travelling to Suriname and French-Guiana for MAFB. This year Suriname Fashion Week and Guyane Fashion Week have invited me to curate different shows, exhibitions and master classes. I celebrate this with former #fashionfest participants Lisa Konno and Anbasja Blanken. They are joining me.
Lisa Konno (1992, Amsterdam) is a Dutch/Japanese fashion designer based in Amsterdam. Lisa’s very first fashion show was at 17 years old during fashion fest (MAFB). It was 2009 and her first education and experience in fashion. The positive learning experience and warm enviroment motivated her choice to continue with fashion and go to art school. Lisa is always searching for innovative ways to handle design, material sourcing, production and sales she aims to walk a different path in fashion and work on projects that challenge the current fashion system. A strong balance in activism and aesthetics is important in her work and her collections often contain many colours and prints. Lisa never wants to lose the optimistic, fun and ever changing look that fashion can bring but shake off the unethical ways of the industry. In 2014, Lisa Konno graduated at the Fashion Design department of Artez in Arnhem with a collection focussed on repurposing waste materials. Since then she presented several collections and collaborations at Amsterdam Fashion Week, Dutch Design Week, Tokyo Design Week and FOAM.
Anbasja Blanken (1987, Curacao) founded her label, ALA BLANKA luxury trousers for strong women, in 2016. Her fist and second collection was launched during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterd The Ala Blanka trouser line is an elegant, chic label, born from the designer’s endless love for ideal beauty and craftsmanship. Blanken started her fashion career in 2005 with a course in technical fashion at Friesland College in Leeuwarden. In 2009, she graduated with her collection ‘The Future Generation’, which won the people’s choice award for best collection of the year. During her bachelor’s degree at the Utrecht school of Art (HKU), Blanken was awared semi-finalist winner at the fashion fest (MAFB) in 2011. A year later she had the opportunity to intern as a design and studio assistant at the renowned fashion house, Viktor & Rolf. She graduated from HKU in 2013 with her collection, ‘Shakhinah Glory’, which was nominated as a finalist for the ‘Lichting’ G-Star award. Following that, she was selected for a variety of exhibitions, including the Modefabriek and Campaign of Wool. Her work has also gained international attention. In 2014 she was invited to present her collection at the SOUTH3632N fashion festival in Cádiz, Spain. Blanken was also part, along with four other fashion talents, by the MOAM platform. For six months, she was coached by top fashion names like Cecile Narinx, Mart Visser, Claes Iversen and Georgette Koning. After that, she won the Global denim award f
Shout out to Suriname Fashion Week and the Dutch Embassy for the great continuous collaboration!