Catwalks the world over are in for a change. This month, two small-market fashion week events—England's Liverpool Fashion Week, and Ghana Fashion and Design Week in Accra—are aiming to counter the industry's often-shallow image. The organizers weigh in on their different approaches.
What's different this year?
Amanda Moss, Liverpool: I've banned extreme false eyelashes, bright tans, and ridiculously long hair extensions.
Ivy Prosper, Ghana: For the first time, we're focusing on ethically produced fashion.
Moss: I want Liverpool to be taken as seriously as London and Milan—and their models look like beautiful clothes hangers.
Prosper: We need to establish a platform that makes it easy for consumers to buy from ethical fashion labels and easy for international businesses to purchase and source from Ghana.
How will designers adapt?
Moss: The hair and makeup have to suit the clothes. One designer, Hotfrox, plans to simply have models wear makeup in colors that accent the item they're wearing.
Prosper: Some of our designers already source and manufacture in Ghana. And the brand Kenema features traditional batiks handmade in Sierra Leone.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.