This Moroccan designer launched a mentorship program to support young African creatives

Moroccan-Norweigan designer Anwar Bougroug launched his eponymous unisex label in 2016. (Supplied)
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Updated 18 May 2020

This Moroccan designer launched a mentorship program to support young African creatives

DUBAI: Moroccan-Norweigan designer Anwar Bougroug launched his eponymous unisex label a little over four years ago with a focus on traditional Moroccan handcraft. His creations went on to capture the attention of prestigious publications, securing him a spot on Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 class of 2020. 

Today, the designer is launching a new initiative called Bougroug Youth Mentorship Program, which will help move the African fashion industry further into the future by nurturing emerging labels from the continent amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

“I was hearing from a lot of young creatives that they were really struggling to keep their motivation up and make ends meet,” shared Bougroug with Arab News of his decision to launch the program. 




The mentorship program is open to the African diaspora from all parts of the world. (Supplied)

“Since I launched my own fashion brand, many young people in Morocco reached out to me and told me they wanted to do the same,” explained Bougroug.  “So I saw an opportunity to help these people reach their dreams,” he added.

Initially, the program was exclusive to Morocco’s creative community, however, within hours, the designer began receiving applications from designers, photographers, stylists and models from countries scattered across Africa, including Sudan, South-Africa, Ghana and Botswana.

“I decided to open the program for everyone that could really benefit from it, no matter where they are located in the world,” he explained. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and social-distancing measures in place, the mentorship scheme will kick off with gatherings on social chatting application Zoom where Bougroug will offer guidance on opportunities, help them refine their ideas and projects and provide uplifting career advice.




Bougroug aims to introduce 25 young African creatives to careers in the fashion industry. (Supplied)

Afterwards, the designer aims to meet with young designers based in Morocco face-to-face and travel to any of the countries where the participants live if and whenever travel restrictions are lifted. 

With the new program, Bougroug aims to introduce 25 young African creatives to careers in the fashion industry and give them the tools to succeed in the industry. 

“Africa has so much potential to further develop its fashion industry,” notes Bougroug. “People in Africa are extremely skilled and creative. What is missing is the voice that tells people to go after their dreams. By giving young people a chance, they will develop their skill sets and the industry will start to take shape and we will eventually have a healthy industry and ecosystem similar to the ones we see for instance in Europe,” he says. 

Those who wish to apply can send an email to [email protected].


Paris Couture Week to go digital in July

Updated 30 May 2020

Paris Couture Week to go digital in July

DUBAI: For the first time ever, the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode said it would stage an online version of Paris Couture Week from July 6 to 8. 

“Each house will be represented in the form of a creative film or video,” the federation stated, adding “Additional content will be included in an editorialized section of the platform. All of this will be widely shared on the main international media networks.” 

It has not yet been confirmed which designers will take part in the new digital concept, but the week typically features design talent from the region, including Lebanese fashion houses Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad and Maison Rabih Kayrouz, among others.

Meanwhile, a few of the fashion houses that have been granted the official haute couture designation have opted out from showing this season.

 Jean Paul Gaultier, who handed over the reins of his couture business to Sacai’s Chitose Abe as the first in a series of rotating guest designers, announced the couture show would be postponed until January. Italian designer Giorgio Armani did the same for his Armani Privé collection, while Balenciaga, which was set to debut its first couture collection in over 50 years, has also postponed.