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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Roberta Annan and MO SAÏQUE Designer Afua Dabanka Team Up for Fashion Week

Annan’s Frallain is investing in the designer’s company which represents a fusion of cultures, global craftsmanship and modern extravagance

Press Release – PARIS September 29, 2016 – Roberta Annan – a renowned global development consultant, impact investor and philanthropist – announced today that Frallain, a conglomerate of luxury and premium brands by African and African diaspora fashion designers, has made a social impact investment in shoe brand MO SAÏQUE. As Founder of Frallain, Ms. Annan is backing this brand which represents a fusion of cultures, global craftsmanship and modern extravagance, making it a vital part of the Luxury Conglomerate of African Brands of her organization.

“I am so proud to be working with Afua Dabanka and MO SAÏQUE,” said Ms. Annan. “It is my passion to help other women channel their passion and to empower them. That is what Frallain is all about – it is what the majority of my life’s work has been about. I congratulate Afua on her dedication and I am in awe of her every day!”

MO SAÏQUE’s new line SS17, The Market Women offers a range of shoe designs that are transported to Kenya where they are hand beaded by a small collective of Masai women in Nairobi. This intricate finishing not only gives unique depth and texture to the designs, but also promotes the special skills of these makers, thereby encouraging their own start-up enterprises to grow.

SS17 debuts at Paris Fashion Week and will be exhibited as part of the African Print Fashion Now! exhibition at Fowler Museum UCLA from April 2017. The future holds a move into men’s shoes and other accessories, and of course more high heels. But for now, Afua’s bold new empire starts here.

About Roberta Annan & Frallain

Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Roberta has lived and worked on four continents and founded businesses including Roberta Annan Consulting and Frallain, a company supporting the empowerment of women within the textile and fashion industry. Roberta is a Senior Advisor at the LJ Partnership and a founding partner of LJ Africa Advisors. Roberta is spearheading LJ Partnership’s strategy to deliver financial services and client solutions across Sub Saharan Africa.

Prior to joining LJ Partnership, Roberta worked for the United Nations where she raised funds and established formidable relationships with prominent individuals, government officials, and HNWI’s. While at the UN, Roberta worked in various capacities within different initiatives such as the South-South News, United Nation Development Program (UNDP) – Community and Adaptation Learning Mechanism, United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN-GAID).

Roberta holds a Masters degree (summa cum laude) in Biotechnology from Georgetown University and received a Bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. More recently she enrolled in the Program For Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School.

Frallain is a Conglomerate of African and African diaspora fashion Luxury and Premium designers with a focus to increase the presence of African and African diaspora talent in the global luxury market by strengthening their brand through our services tailored to their needs. The organization has a high-profile team with unmatched strategic planning skills combined with valuable relationships and resources in fashion, art, entertainment, business, and media. Frallain is dedicated to ensuring that clients thrive in the global luxury market so whether emerging or firmly established, each designer that we work with represents best quality, creativity, and aesthetic.

About Afua Dabanka & MO SAÏQUE

Born in rural Germany to Ghanaian parents, Afua grew up travelling extensively with her family and visiting Kumasi in Ghana each Christmas. Afua relocated to London to study economics and social science and established a career in banking but number crunching simply wasn’t enough. So she completed a series of shoe design courses at the London College of Fashion while researching the industry and fulfilled her dream by establishing MO SAÏQUE in 2011. Produced using the finest leathers in Italy, her debut collection of platform heels and peep toe sandals exuded a European clean cut aesthetic while the colour palette of hot house hues were drawn from her Ashanti roots.

Afua’s footwear has graced red carpets in Cannes and Monaco and catwalks in London, Milan, Lagos, Accra and New York. They have received press coverage everywhere from Bloomberg to Elle and built up demand thanks to Afua’s bespoke service. Having successfully founded one of the world’s only African female-owned high-end footwear brands, this enterprising businesswoman has in recent months also built up a new core team of strategic partners in order to take MO SAÏQUE into its next chapter.

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