The fashion industry in Liberia has experienced lots of ups and downs, beginning with little to no growth at all. However, an honored official representative for World Fashion Week (WFW) and ‘Fashion Icon Facilitator’ from ECOWAS Fashion, promoter Junda Morris-Kennedy has not hesitated in investing in the fashion business. Speaking with enthusiasm, the US-based Liberian-American fashion promoter said: “I knew there was a challenge, but I was ready for the leap and this is why I decided to take the risk and make the difference and now it is working. My dream is to use the runway to create global visibility for Liberian fashion designs, boost innovation among local fashion designers and create jobs for people.”
In determination to keep the fashion business, Madam Morris-Kennedy first in Baltimore, Maryland USA held an event she called “Runway Liberia” and held its second event in Liberia on April 5, 2019, which was the Soiree ahead of the main event. The “Run-way Liberia”, is the biggest fashion event currently dedicated for the promotion of Liberian fashion brand featuring more than fifteen fashion designers both locally and internationally. Since then, the exposure of emerging professionals in the Liberian fashion business has grown. Models are now being creative and innovative. They endlessly endeavor to bring about new brands and connect with foreign designers and shows.
Her inspiration to bring about such huge fashion event came when she noticed that Liberian fashion designers were really not into African fashion. Being in existence for five years now, the “Run-Way” fashion business has and is gaining momentum. The business has enveloped to be a platform that features some of the biggest names in the African fashion industry like Papa Ngala of Senegal and Chris Collins, a Liberian fashion designer who designed for former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.“I am ready to do whatever it takes to build the fashion industry in Liberia, create more jobs, contribute to the economy, and increase the standard of living” Madam Morris-Kennedy voiced out.” I am proud of what the platform has achieved over the last five years in Liberia and the USA. The event, which started as a little event five years ago, is now providing a platform for designers, most especially emerging designers in Liberia to showcase to a global audience of fashion enthusiasts, international media, visitors, and attendees.”, she went on.
The Run-Way Soireee was covered by African Fashion TV, Studio 24, Glamour Magazine, all of Nigeria and Deamina Magazines in Italy, Mrs. Kennedy acknowledged that the African Fashion industry tho being a multi-million dollars industry, has seen less participation from Liberian brands, thereby pulling down the industry’s ability to generate needed foreign cash as the monetary size of Liberia is still far behind and not benefiting or generating much. That is a problem, she emphasized, that is needed to be dealt with. In report, she said: “Liberia’s fashion industry is far behind its African counterparts, but we are working to change the situation. At least, we are now seeing some level of success in the industry, and that is good. We are getting there gradually”.