From the Village to the Runway: Traditional Narratives and the Emerging Global Trends


African-Fashion-Panel-flyerFriday, November 1st
Hirschon Suite, 55 W 13th Street, 2nd Floor

Project Africa and Parsons MA Fashion Studies are proud to bring you an informative discussion on the intersections of African culture on fashion and design. Join us for an exciting program with experts and practitioners from a variety of fields, including design, culture, identity, and business.


Carolou Goodridge was born and raised in New York to Liberian parents. She’s always been interested in the fashion; however, her path changed when she studied Political Science in college and moved to Washington, DC to work in politics. She spent five successful years on Capitol Hill, earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy/Peace Operations, and worked as a lobbyist for the next two years. Three years ago, Carolou made a life-changing decision to leave the political world and has since relocated back to New York to finally pursue her dream career in fashion with a global focus. In 2010, she established Image Forward Consulting, a luxury style and image consultancy for gentlemen which participated in African Fashion Week among other important fashion events. Check IFC out on Facebook.


Deanna Clark, Esq. is a Senior International Trade and Fashion Compliance attorney at Shayne Schrier Shayne Koenig Sanburg & Ryne in New York, NY. She advises clients on how to follow the laws that relate to the products they sell within the U.S. whether for fashion designers, retailers, importers, start up e-commerce sellers, or otherwise. She also advises on labeling and marketing claims, such as using “eco-friendly” claims and Made in USA, as well as assists clients with responding to government inquiries and dealing with audits and other actions taken by them. Deanna is an adjunct professor at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in its International Trade and Marketing Dept. where she teaches International Business Law. She hosts “Fashion Compliance Defined” an educational program on fashion law, and writes a blog called “International Trade for Everyday People.” She serves as the International Representative to the NY Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade and as an advisory board member of Africa Fashion Week. Deanna received her JD from Tulane Law School, an MA in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Malta’s Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, and her BA in Peace & Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley. You can follow her on Twitter @fashcompliance or join the “Fashion Compliance” page on Facebook by “liking” it.

Busayo Michelle Olupona is is the founder and creative director of Busayo, a Brooklyn-based apparel and accessories company. The clothing line is a celebration of African textiles and aims to brighten the contemporary American woman’s wardrobe with its interpretation of the vivid colors and geometric patterns of traditional African fabrics (specifically hand dyed fabrics) into modern silhouettes. The line is available online and in several boutiques throughout the country. The line has been featured in Elle, Essence, Ebony, Runway Magazine and Huffington Post. Prior to starting the clothing line, Busayo practiced corporate finance law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and New York University School of Law.You can view her beautiful designs at

Aster Thomas is co-founder of fasion blog, a communication expert, and fierce African fashion advocate. Aster’s passion for fashion began at an early age as a model in both the United States and Ethiopia. She has a B.A. in Communications and a Certificate in Project Management from New York University. She works for a digital media company as a Business Development Manager for the Emerging Markets division, where she helps develop business strategies and connections for (an African business news website). Aster was invited to speak on Aljazeera’s popular show The Stream ito speak on the issue of cultural-appropriation by large retailers, specifically Urban Outfitters. You can visit her website

To attend, please register here.



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