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Be SCENE: Obakki Foundation Exhibit at Walrus

Obakki exhibit at Walrus

After hearing Treana Peake speak at Creative Mornings earlier this year, I’ve since been an even bigger fan of what she stands for. Her photography of South Sudan has been incorporated into prints for Obakki fabrics in recent seasons, and some of us just can’t get enough. So if you want to see more, be sure to check out the Obakki Foundation pop-up exhibit next Wednesday, October 2nd.


  • Date | Wednesday, October 2nd
  • Time | 6 – 9pm
  • Location | Walrus @ 3408 Cambie St

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Obakki: Social Change through Fashion and New Diffusion Line

Creative Mornings - Treana Peake

Having worked in fashion marketing a while ago, I was saddened to see how contrived the industry actually was. From a fashion lover’s perspective, we are enthralled by the inspirations designers use to create their beautiful collections. But from an insider’s perspective, sometimes those ‘inspirations’ are nothing more than an afterthought of a marketing strategy for packaging purposes.

I had the opportunity today to watch Treana Peake present at Creative Mornings hosted at W2. This woman’s humanitarian efforts through luxury label Obakki is far from contrived. Little known facts about her were revealed: she’s been to Africa over 20 times, and had to sell her car to finance her first trip. The Obakki FW 2012 collection was inspired by South Sudan, but Treana didn’t simply ‘exploit’ the people by taking beautiful images and getting inspiration for design. She also worked with a team of 5 South Sudanese models for the ’10 Pieces For Change’ collection campaign. As well, 100% of capsule collection profits (the signature red scarf) and any leftover net profits from Obakki go directly into humanitarian projects, such as building more than 300 wells in Africa to give areas of conflict access to water.

Obakki mood board FW 2012

And yes, when Obakki transitioned into more of a humanitarian than fashion brand, I was taken aback. Apprehensive and skeptical, I thought this was a bit awkward for a fashion brand: could this be some sort of social greenwashing? But having watched Treana speak passionately about WHY she does what she does, I feel that she is one of the most genuine business people out there. Even though it wasn’t an easy transition for her, it goes to show that there is room in this world for fashion to be kind.

For those of us who believe this is a truly inspiring movement for the fashion industry, but may not be able to afford that $500 Obakki jacket, don’t fret. Treana let word out that Obakki may be introducing a diffusion line of t-shirts, handbags, scarves, and accessories at a lower price point.

“Giving without expecting anything in return can help define the course of your life.” – Treana Peake @ Creative Mornings (quote via @mariecheungsays)

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