Thursday, April 3, 2008

JEANS for GENES; the Show Itself

Jeans for Genes; the Fashion Exhibition, held on March 29th, at SWE BAR, City Mall, Lagos.

The event was well-publicised before the day on radio, in print media, and mainly on facebook and by a week to the event, 290308 had become the passcode people wanted a ticket to.
The concept was unique; invites cost whatever donations people wanted to make at the door, and all donations went into the THESE GENES; Sickle-Cell Project, a project designed to create awareness on sickle-cell, and also give people an avenue to express themselves on sickle-cell.

The event started at 2pm, but SPEECHgirl had an exclusive backstage pass way before it started!
Only us saw the running around, the last minute adjustments made to the runway, the models that cancelled and had to be replaced, and the general panic before things began.

From the actual show itself though, you could never have guessed this was happening as the show kicked off with Tosyn Bucknor weaving through the excited crowd, asking them about their day and their sense of style. She then introduced the host of the day - Shade Ladipo who also introduced her celebrity co-host - Ebuka!
Together, they held the guests spellbound for the duration of the show, making people laugh, smile, and also getting people to share any sickle-cell stories they had.

Guests at the event included Tracy Nither, Emem Ema, Ashionye, Chris Ihidero (editor of MADE magazine), Lamide Akintobi, Muiyiwa Osindero (Clothsense), Alex Yangs, the Redstrat trio (Chude, Emilia and Adebola Williams), Tee-A, Lydia Idakula, M.P, Amina Ebele Idris, and the Unrulies.

There were three main designers for the day.
BEAMPEH was the first to show off her collection of Soul / Ethnic designs. Her clothes were beautiful, and the models walked to 'Awe' by asa. BYGE also showed her own specially designed line for THese Genes which featured elegant clothes. Accessories by Ayana were also modelled at the same time, making it a perfect combination of fashion, accessories and beauty. MY Q modelled her own alternative collection which was a combination of various feels, and the models strutted to 'Sensual Seduction' by Snoop.
All designers donated some of their outfits to the sickle-cell project and these can be viewed and bought by contacting These Genes.
OUCH! who runs both a male and female line, was exhibiting his ties at the exhibition and this is where the male models showed what they were made of. With nothing but their jeans and ties on, they gave the ladies something to scream about!

THESE GENES also had its own runway when it modelled tshirts that had been designed by Energy, Toni Payne, and QuikLinx. With funny and zany inscriptions like 'These Genes Celeb', 'Whats Your Sign?' and 'Looking Good in These Genes', all the tshirts were customised and shown by the models, and special guests like Gbemi of COOL F.M, Noble Igwe, Lola Talabi and surprise! surprise, Mrs Sola Bucknor!
All models walked to 'Booty Call' by D'Banj, a song that seemed to fit the swag perfectly.

Make-up for the models and the hosts was done by Face Factor and Labelle's Touch, and they can also be reached via the These Genes database.

It was not all fashion, beauty and style though as there was music, poetry and comedy on the day!
Lanre, an upcoming comedian and comedy celeb, Jedi, sent the guests reeling with laughter as Chiedu Ifeozo and Sage did poetry and spoken word respectively. It seemed it was a day for alternative forms of entertainment as rock and acoustic soul led the day with Bez Idakula and Aysia thrilling the crowd with their guitars, and Etcetera doing same with his piano! It wasn't all acoustic though as Toks D Don, Drenco and Divine Brothers gave a variety that ranged from ragga to rap, to gospel accapella.
The guests at the event were not only entertained but absolutely amazed when 11 year old rapper, Li'L Flow, came on stage. He seemed shy just before getting on, but once the beat came on, it could have been a 30 year old rap superstar on stage!
Hip-Hop had its day at Jeans for Genes as Jesse Jags, and Hip-Hop World Awards winner, M.I rounded off the list of excellent performances.
But let us not forget the greatest performer on the day, Toyin Adesola, author of Still Standing, a true account of her journey, living with sickle-cell for 40 years. She read an excerpt from her book, and These Genes has copies of the book on sale.

Jeans for Genes was a day of fahion, music, poetry and beauty, but it was more than that. It was an event created to raise funds and awareness for the sickle-cell project. The event itself might have rapped with a vote of thanks by the Project and Event Co-ordinator, but there are still a million ways to be a part of the project!
You can still buy any of the tshirts, wristbands, ties or clothes that have been donated to the project, you can donate money, time or talent to the project, and you can keep telling people about THESE GENES; the Sickle-Cell Project, and Sickle-Cell itself.

In the meantime, the organisers wish to thank Zapphaire Events and PR, UNRULY INC, Yvents Couture, SWE Bar, all media houses, and all management and recording companies who let their artistes perform at our event, for their continued support of the Sickle-Cell Project.

THESE GENES; the Sickle-Cell Project cannot work without its team of workers and volunteers
Tosyn Bucknor; Co-ordinator
'Subi Mabogunje; Creative Desk, Designs and Branding
Noble Igwe; Consultancy
Osagie Osarenkhoe, Bolaji Salami, Joko Ladipo, Akinyemi, Rogba Arimoro, all all our other volunteers.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Tosyn, Where were u when i came to visit you on your blog?I guess u have gone to attend an event in town.Well, i enjoyed your fashion story buy you didnt invite me...y now?

  3. hi tosyn, how can we get ur t-shirts