Iona McCreath of KikoRomeo has been selected as a finalist for Arise Fashion Week: The New Stars. After receiving thousands of applications, the final 30 under 30 designers were selected by a star-studded panel including South African Couturier David Tlale; Stylist and Creative Director Jenke Ahmed who has worked with the likes of Beyonce and Kanye West; as well as model Alton Mason, amongst many more powerhouses within the African Fashion industry. Scheduled for 9-12th December 2020 in Lagos Nigeria, and streamed globally, the next generation of designers will showcase the best and brightest of fashion and style as they compete for $500,000 USD in prize money – $100,000 for first prize, $75,000 for runner up and $50,000 for 3rd place. All 30 receive a selection prize of $5,000 and $5,000 more for the top 9. Soft-spoken UK International Model and Activist, Naomi Campbell has always been an intrinsic part of the Arise Fashion Week. She’s among leading industry experts and judges who will select the winning designers.
Growing up as daughter of fashion designer Ann McCreath, Iona has apprenticed in the fashion industry all her life. She was born in 1996, the same year as KikoRomeo, and appeared on the runway with her mother as a baby. Highly skilled tailors and artisans have always surrounded her, as she played dress up with clothes in the shop. With time, she has taken a keener interest in her own role in fashion, exploring her talents and putting to practice the skills she had picked up along the way.
Speaking about being selected Iona McCreath says, “I’m so excited and very honoured to have been selected amongst so much talent! In taking part, I am representing all the people that have touched my creations – the farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, painters, cutters, machinists, finishers, crocheters and embroiderers as well as administrators, transporters and many more who make up the wealth that is the fashion industry,” adding, “We love the arts and use our language and fashion skills to mentor and inspire people to be open-minded and to earn a living from creativity. The beautiful things we create, embolden the wearer, opening new paths and giving them confidence to bring out their own authenticity. I am enjoying working in new ways with artisans in Kenya, many of whom had worked with my mum for over two decades. I also enjoy collaborating with others in the visual arts, literature, theatre, film and music, all of them enrich our work.
Her journey at KikoRomeo has seen her design a series of collections, maintaining the brands aesthetic and artistic heritage. Through this time, she has also worked to redefine the brand’s representation and communication, bringing to the fore a lot of the social impact work that KikoRomeo has done over the years that many do not know about as well as highlighting the decades of artistry that is embedded in this work. A long project, much of this will be seen in greater detail in 2021, as the brand celebrates 25 years.