16 December 2016 / Berenice Mulubah
|Yanumbe Marjean, Vannette Tolbert and Serina Cooper|
Monrovia Fashion Week (MFW) starts today and yep, it is starting with some serious industry drama. The three fashion heads involve, Ms Yanumbe Marjean, the owner of Monvoria Fashion Week, and her two new directors, Ms. Vannette Tolbert and Serina Cooper are throwing shots on social media. Ms. Vannette and Ms. Serina were hired by Yanumbe as directors for this year's MFW, but two days to the event, a press release was send out, letting fans know that the event will be held under a new brand "Fashion Week Liberia" owned by Vannette and Serina. Ooch!!! Is that even legal?
Check out the press release.
"From young ages we were taught: Your reputation is everything, how you treat people is the legacy you leave behind, your word is your bond and to have integrity is invaluable. These values are something we don’t take lightly. As creatives, we are often misunderstood and all too often march to the beat of our own drum. As a result, opportunities to express ourselves become less and less on the list of priorities in many communities and countries worldwide. Coming to Liberia for a lot of us in the Diaspora was not only a way to connect with our culture, reach for dreams and goals as entrepreneurs, but to also create a UNIFIED platform for us as artists and the many talented creative people in Liberia that have been unable to do so, due to circumstances that were out of their control. So when we find those few chances to have an event that can accomplish this, we tend to not think twice and jump at the opportunity, which has led us to the predicament we find ourselves in today. We were given an opportunity to direct Monrovia fashion week this year and despite the initial hesitation, we agreed because we wanted to believe that we could revive the brand and renew a sense of enthusiasm for the arts and fashion in Liberia. With only three weeks to plan and very limited resources, the odds were against us, to say the very least. But living in Liberia can teach you resilience in inexplicable ways, so we decided to give it a shot and plan the best event we could - despite the challenges. However, through the planning of this event, one challenge has remained constant throughout the adversity and cannot be ignored nor can we continue to be silent. The owner of this event has tarnished the brand and her reputation in irreparable measures. It has become the common denominator in every challenge we have been faced with from sponsorships, rentals, press, casting, you name it. With this reason, we are not quitters in any way, so we have taken the liberty of continuing our fashion show, but under our company name and management, disassociating ourselves from Monrovia Fashion Week. We cannot promote a peaceful, creative, positive event under a brand that doesn’t represent these values and practices fraudulent activities. We are doing this not for the money, but for a way to give a voice and hope to those who can’t do it on their own. We cannot work with a company that has not only damaged so many relationships in this country and others, but refuses to take accountability for their actions. With that being said - same day, same show, same entertainment. Different standards, different brand, different management and totally different values. We look forward to seeing you at Fashion Week Liberia. Thank you for your support in this matter. We will continue to work hard at making this an event you can be proud of without the distractions."
I hope these ladies can work out their differences. Wishing them the best.