IFM-BIRIMIAN ACCELERATOR x AFRICA

Birimian and the Institut Français de la Mode are supporting African emerging designers through a unique accelerator program for young creative brands based on the African continent or in the diaspora. For the first edition, IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa will support 10 emerging designers selected for their talent, creativity, connection to the african heritage and capacity to upscale, with the expertise of a creative board composed of industry experts.
The selected designers and brands are offered personalized assistance, coaching advisory services for the development of their company by a dedicated team of professionals and industry experts, in the main areas of expertise required for a young creative company: brand identity, offer, distribution, production, image and communication, budget and financing.
The objective: nurture talent and accelerate the growth of African designers through capacity-building.
APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM
Audience
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Young designers and creative entrepreneurs established in Africa or coming from the diaspora, in the sectors of women’s and men’s fashion, accessories, shoes/sneakers, leather goods, jewelry, etc. requiring training and coaching to professionalize their brand, with the vision of a future international expansion.

Benefits
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Formalization of the project’s fundamentals (which are often intuitive), an in-depth study of these fundamentals to put them into perspective and better anticipate future stages of development. Benefits that are tailored to the profiles and skills associated with the labels:

The definition of the project and of its positioning, the structuring of collections, retail strategy, communication policy, financial monitoring.
bool(false)
Collection building, distribution, communication, financial resources and teams. To set up operational working tools such as collection planning, general sales conditions, treasury framework, communication framework.
bool(false)
To step back in order to gain perspective in relation to day-to-day pace and exchange with other designers/labels going through similar situations.
bool(false)
Elevation of international standards and strenghtening of technical and operational competences through luxury and fashion experts mentoring.
bool(false)
Exposure to the international creative scene (supporting applications to prestigious and strategic prizes and collaboration opportunities).
bool(false)
A potential lead-in to preparing business plans/financing arrangements.
bool(false)
Potential investment from Birimian.
bool(false)
Objectives
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To highlight African creativity and integrate designers and creative entrepreneurs into the international creative scene while acculturating them to its codes.
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To support and train the young African creative guard, by reinforcing their skills and know-how in order to guarantee a level of excellence at all stages of the creative process and by helping them become more professional.
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To contribute to the transmission and preservation of the African heritage know-how.
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Program
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This accelerator program is a hybrid format blending both an online & physical presence. It is built on a synergy between training/exchange based group sessions and individual tailored coaching sessions.
The program lasts 10 months starting from the end of September 2021 to June 2022.

To kick-off the program: a Parisian physical immersive experience (± 10 days).
Brand Diagnosis
A 360-degree brand assessment by a pool of experts, to identify the participants' strengths, weaknesses and needs which will serve as an action plan for the rest of the program. This diagnosis will lead to a tailor-made coaching and mentorship program performed by a college of industry experts with a proven international track record.
Classes and group workshops focusing on branding, communication, digital strategy, production, distribution…
During each of these topical sessions we invite a professional expert who comes to share his/her experience in developing young creative labels: managing directors of young creative brands, press offices, members of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, ready-to-wear couture and fashion designers, digital agencies, representatives of financing organizations…
Key exclusive visits
The objective is to immerse designers in the culture of the international fashion and creative scene through the prism of the world's premier fashion capital.
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An individual 10-month coaching program
The aim of the individual coaching sessions is to work on specific topics and assist with decision-making. They allow for an in-depth examination of core issues and transform the. chosen options into operational tools. The topics to be covered are:
Collection structuring,
Branding
Business development
Digital content creation
Digital experience (e-commerce, social networks)
Artistic direction
Financing (applied to fashion)
International routes to market and omni channel distribution strategy
In addition, subjects linked to production, supply chain and information systems can be approached to enrich the other fields, depending on the identified needs.
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Access to the IFM's Fashion Entrepreneurship Center
The Fashion Entrepreneurship Center’s mission is to bring together and animate the IFM’s community of entrepreneurs; to connect entrepreneurs with the IFM’s global ecosystem; to promote creative, innovative and sustainable entrepreneurship; and to centralize resources/information.

Within this framework, the Fashion Entrepreneurship Center organises collective training sessions on the fundamentals of fashion entrepreneurship.

These sessions are given weekly in 2-hour modules, in evening classes and accessible for the most part by videoconference. Topics will cover (but not limited to):
Managing an entrepreneurial project from idea to launch
Creating a brand from scratch
New business models and launch strategies
Introduction to digital marketing (SEO, SEA, social media, growth hacking...)
How to pitch a project
Key issues in sustainable fashion
Fashion Tech and innovations
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Within this framework, the Fashion Entrepreneurship Center organises collective training sessions on the fundamentals of fashion entrepreneurship.

These sessions are given weekly in 2-hour modules, in evening classes and accessible for the most part by videoconference. Topics will cover (but not limited to):" } [1]=> array(3) { ["acf_fc_layout"]=> string(17) "element_depliable" ["titre"]=> string(55) "Managing an entrepreneurial project from idea to launch" ["texte_2"]=> string(0) "" } [2]=> array(3) { ["acf_fc_layout"]=> string(17) "element_depliable" ["titre"]=> string(29) "Creating a brand from scratch" ["texte_2"]=> string(0) "" } [3]=> array(3) { ["acf_fc_layout"]=> string(17) "element_depliable" ["titre"]=> string(41) "New business models and launch strategies" ["texte_2"]=> string(0) "" } [4]=> array(3) { ["acf_fc_layout"]=> string(17) "element_depliable" ["titre"]=> string(77) "Introduction to digital marketing (SEO, SEA, social media, growth hacking...)" ["texte_2"]=> string(0) "" } [5]=> array(3) { ["acf_fc_layout"]=> string(17) "element_depliable" ["titre"]=> string(22) "How to pitch a project" ["texte_2"]=> string(0) "" } [6]=> array(3) { ["acf_fc_layout"]=> string(17) "element_depliable" ["titre"]=> string(33) "Key issues in sustainable fashion" ["texte_2"]=> string(0) "" } [7]=> array(3) { ["acf_fc_layout"]=> string(17) "element_depliable" ["titre"]=> string(28) "Fashion Tech and innovations" ["texte_2"]=> string(0) "" } }
The final debrief in Paris (± 1 week)
At the end of the program we will request the presence of the designer/entrepreneur for a debrief, conclusions, and a follow-up action plan to enhance expansion capacities. Birimian's potential investment and financial contribution are to be assessed and discussed throughout the program.
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Admission conditions
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A label with African roots and heritage that has existed for at least 3 seasons
bool(false)
An annual sales figure of over USD 50,000 excluding tax and a positive result
bool(false)
An early reputation established with influencers and tangible activity on social media
bool(false)
If possible, having already established a team, tandem with a designer and another person in charge of sales, management…
bool(false)
Creative talent and drive to move forward
bool(false)
Contributions
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The program is financed by Birimian Ventures with a minimal request for brand contribution
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Brands and designers will need to commit to full participation, attendance and other potential requirements to be stipulated by Birimian in order to benefit from this support
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Selection Process
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The call for applications opens on Monday 28 June and closes on 31 August 2021.
Each application will be reviewed by a creative board of industry experts:

IMANE AYISSI, Designer and founder of its eponymous brand
bool(false)
SERGE CARREIRA, In charge of emerging brands initiative, Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode
bool(false)
GEOFFROY DE LA BOURDONNAYE, Director for Unicef, former CEO of Chloé
bool(false)
THOMAS DELATTRE, Director of Entrepreneurial Programs, IFM
bool(false)
PRISCILLA JOKHOO, French Federation of Women’s Ready-to-Wear
bool(false)
LAUREEN KOUASSI-OLSSON, Founder and CEO, Birimian
bool(false)
PIERRE ALEXANDRE M’PELÉ (PAM BOY), Fashion journalist
bool(false)
FRÉDÉRIC MAUS, CEO, WSN
bool(false)
STÉPHANIE MOROU, Executive Director, Francis Kurkdjian Endowment Fund (LVMH), in charge of the African/Caribbean Zone
bool(false)
LEYLA NERI, Head of Master Arts in Fashion Design, IFM
bool(false)
VALENTIN PÉREZ, Fashion journalist, M le Mag from Le Monde
bool(false)
PATRICIA ROMATET, Expert consultant in support of creative labels
bool(false)
MOSSI TRAORÉ, Designer, Mossi
bool(false)
PEPJIN VAN EEDEN, Consultant, Co-founder and former CEO of Marine Serre
bool(false)
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The information collected on this form allows us to process your request and is kept for a period of 3 years. You have the right to access, oppose, rectify and delete data concerning you. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the CNIL. For more information, see our Legal information.