The Vlisco Fashion Fund is now accepting applications for this year’s increasingly competitive contest.

The Fund is in search of creative participants with big ideas and ambitious new talents out of which seven of the most outstanding fashion designers will be chosen as winners.

Started in 2013, the Vlisco Fashion Fund is a yearly contest that supports promising creatives in building skills and strengthening their fashion labels in Africa.

This contest is setup for up-and-coming fashion talent between 20 and 30 years of age with fresh ideas and a desire to make their mark. The Vlisco Fashion Fund is also particularly interested in designers with a passion for wax print.

Since the contest is founded to support emerging talent, it is geared towards those who have been working in the field less than five years, and who are either solo freelancers or have maximum two employees.

All creatives who apply must excel at more than just design. They must also be adept with a needle. Participants need to be able to sew their own garments without depending on hired tailors to execute an idea. Business drive is also crucial.

The Vlisco Fashion Fund prioritises those applicants that are able to articulate how the fund would concretely benefit their business and help transform their dreams into a flourishing and influential fashion label.

The mechanics

Vlisco Fashion Fund 2019

The Vlisco Fashion Fund entry contest has three stages. After the initial portfolio submission, a group of selected applicants are invited for an interview and sewing test, after which 21 candidates are picked as finalists, three per country category: Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, DRC, Ghana, and ‘Global’ which includes the rest of Africa and the diaspora.

Those finalists are then given an assignment to complete, which is judged by a panel of fashion industry professionals. Seven of the strongest fashion designers are then chosen to represent the 2019 Vlisco Fashion Fund winners.

All Vlisco Fashion Fund winners receive career funding and professional training workshops. Each will have €5000 to invest in new equipment, to help finance the set-up of a studio, or to otherwise facilitate business growth.

In addition, Vlisco also organises high-calibre professional training workshops for the entire group of winners, to assist with strengthening business, design, presentation, and tailoring skills.

Ready to make your pitch?

Potential applicants can read instructions and download the application form at, those entering the contest must be able to articulate their short and long-term business goals and have a strong portfolio of fashion designs.

Applications are accepted between August 1 and the October 1 deadline.