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BUBBLEGUM X is an initiative by Bubblegum Club and The Bubblegum Foundation aimed at advancing Africa’s ever growing cultural influence in global creative scenes. This, as a means of leveraging and transforming this expanding cultural and artistic influence into developing sustainable creative industries on the African continent, and fostering creative businesses that operate beyond our
continental borders.

Each year the Bubblegum Foundation will use its resources to realise initiatives that support and develop creatives across Africa. The first of these being an annual International exchange programme for creatives from the continent.

This year’s exchange — BUBBLEGUM X Daily Paper — is focused on the fashion industry, and will see Bubblegum Club partnering with the leading youth fashion label and organisation, Daily Paper, to offer an emerging designer a fully funded month-long internship at Daily Paper’s HQ in Amsterdam. Daily Paper is an Amsterdam based fashion and lifestyle brand established in 2012 by three childhood friends. The once blog established by Hussein, Jefferson and Abderrahmane shared a love for music, art, fashion and culture, growing the brand into a household name.

Fueled by the rich heritage of African culture wrapped in contemporary designs, Daily Paper has truly become one of the fastest growing fashion brands out of Europe. With two collections a year focusing on both men and womenswear, Daily Paper offers timeless designs across accessories, ready to wear and a range of capsules across the season.

Applicants for BUBBLEGUM X Daily Paper must be 18 — 30 years old, based on the African continent full time and must have previously produced at least one physical fashion collection. BUBBLEGUM X Daily Paper will also function as a platform, providing exposure to aspiring fashion designers and as a space for digital storytelling both from Daily Paper and Bubblegum Club’s distinct perspectives.

As an initiative, BUBBLEGUM X is conscious of history’s continued impact on the uneven development of our cultural industries in the Global Majority and thus aims to shift and expand the position of African business from having their products and services merely platformed — to being distributed and consumed globally.

Jamal Nxedlana, Bubblegum Club’s co-founder and custodian speaks more about the initiative and how BUBBLEGUM X was conceived:
Similar to a lot of Bubblegum Club initiatives, we look to support the creative industries, we look to create initiatives that develop young creatives and give them opportunities. This is such an opportunity, I think.

In the fashion industry, there’s a lot of creativity, but infrastructurally, it’s not as developed as it could be. As a result of this, we’re not positioned to compete internationally. Just by giving people that exposure – especially experience in working systems and processes – that could position them to be more competitive, like globally in fashion.

From the designers and to the successful designer, we’re looking for innovation, and innovation comes in many forms. The concept could be innovative, the story that is being told could be innovative, it could be technically innovative. So it just depends. It could even be innovative across the many different parts of fashion production or even fashion business. Maybe the advertising and communications are innovative. I always look for a point of view on all of these aspects. Are any one of these aspects unique?