Naana Orleans-Amissah is Strategy Director at MediaMonks. Her career in advertising stretches over 20 years, with previous roles including Havas, JWT, Karmarama, and client side at Crabtree & Evelyn. We asked how her digital hero is.
Who is your digital hero?
Anifa Mvuemba, 31-year-old founder and creator of fashion brand Hanifa.
What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?
The Kenyan born, Congolese now-naturalised American, is the creative mastermind who in lock down blew us all away with her 3D Instagram LIVE virtual runway show for her Pink Label Congo collection.
She captivated us with her 3D models who walked in her designs in homage to not just Congolese ‘but all African seamstresses’. She showed us what brands with heftier budgets have for years been trying to do – tell a story through craft and tech and create an experience so breathtaking it can be monetised.
Not only did she set a new standard, the attention to detail was truly a moment in digital tech and fashion history. She celebrated the womanly curves of Black and African bodies, in a digital-first environment.
So, she achieved accessibility, inclusivity, a storytelling experience through digital tech, a beautiful display of craft and digital innovation in one Instagram Live session! It still remains one of the highlights of innovation and creative ingenuity that those very hard months produced.
How has her heroism helped drive digital?
It was the way she used Instagram LIVE to democratise what is usually an exclusive experience: a front row seat at a high-fashion label’s runway show.
She was the first to debut what would go on to become a popular way to recreate fashion-shows mid-pandemic. Not only did she provide relief and beauty, but she also created an avenue for many in the tech and fashion industries to work, and continue to do what they love best.
What is the biggest challenge in digital that we need another hero to solve?
A way to build Web 3.0 and the Metaverse into a better, more just and equal experience of society, rather than just another digital tool that exacerbates the already vast differences in opportunity and accessibility.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
Starting found, ART, a multidisciplinary creative arts platform that put a spotlight on Continental and Diasporan African artists. I sought to map an African artistic family tree to demonstrate my belief that all art is interlinked in some way since artists are so often multidisciplinary or borrow from across the disciplines.
It was nerve wracking learning how to create digitally, host and produce twenty, fifty-minute episodes as well as design and post the social content! I think it made me a better strategist and multiplied my respect for creatives!