I always find that following Fashion Weeks and related events takes me to unexpected and inspirational places! On Friday, February 1st, I found myself at the Woodward's Building, Gastown, for an early morning presentation by Treana Peake, designer and developer of the Obakki Foundation. The Obakki designs shown at Toronto Fashion Week were definite statements! I remember the reds and blacks, the unique textures and patterns, and the feeling that I could wear all of the pieces that deeply reflect Africa, a place I've never been but am now drawn to visit.
I believe that Fashion is Art and is a visual history of our past, present and future, and I also can see how it has the power to influence and provide impetus and funds for change. Treana develops projects with her lines. The profits from one line of T-shirts, scarves and totes go to support children in orphanages in Cameroon and other projects include building wells to provide a life time of clean water. There is much, much more but projects center around creating and supporting self sufficiency, health and education. Her philosophy is "one village at a time" so that she works with the people to complete measurable and sustainable goals. It is a huge project and one that could drive a designer to mass production and less creativity, without Treana's organization, energy, and partnerships. For her, the people have powerful stories and their own skills and creativity to share. Treana Peake says, "What's the point of living this life if I don't do something remarkable with it?" Not only is she doing this on a daily basis, but she is leading and inspiring others to find their passion and do something big with it. All this in a 20 minute talk and beautiful video. I could have listened all day, however, the point of this monthly breakfast lecture series in 40 cities worldwide, is that you meet at 8:30 have breakfast, listen to a great speaker, meet new people, ask questions and then head off to work by 10. Will your day be different? Absolutely! Will your path be changed? One path is Treana Peake's. What is yours?
Thanks to creativemornings.com and MarkBusse.ca and volunteers, to Capilano University and many other partners and to Karen and Zoe of GOOD.BADGIRL.PRESERVES for the array of tasty muffins, terrific coffee, and good cheer so early in the morning.
Looking forward to seeing more of Obakki at the store #201-135 W. 7th, Vancouver and at Fashion Weeks everywhere. Visit the Obakki website here. Thanks, again Treana Peake.