The best thing about filming Fashpack was the opportunity to hang with the some of Freetown’s brightest and most entertaining locals and in the upcoming blog posts I’m going to delve deeper into the super stars behind each episode.
So where did these charismatic characters come from? In Freetown it’s stupidly easy to meet people. If you leave the house and don’t come back with at least 10 new friends, I really have to question your social skills. My phone was jammed with hundreds of names (most of them either Ibrahim or Mohammed), I pretty much had pals on every corner, and half of them had that trademark freestylin flair for fashion that we love. So when it came to weeding out our talent the biggest challenge was deciding who we had to leave out. The majority of stars I’d met previously through the blog, some were old friends and a few we gathered during the shoot. As you see in the show, these people are made for TV, they shine in front of the camera and were all willing to share their story.
In Ep 1 – Welcome to the Junks, I meet up with two of Freetown’s most discerning shoppers, I.B Love and Mariama who show me around Freetown’s endless second hand clothes market and invite me into their homes to talk style.
I.B Love first came into my life way back in my early days in Freetown, he was part of a running team I supported – the Freetown Fashpack Runners, and was a regular visitor to my home on Sundays. It wasn’t long before I realised his talents extended beyond the 100m dash, he soon charmed our production crew and it became clear that Fashpack: Freetown could not be a fully realised masterpiece without showcasing I.B Love.
I.B is a peacock. He loves to parade his latest look around his hood, he has an eye for style and the confidence to match. He works as a graphic designer downtown but is also focussed on his running career and developing his profile as a ‘fashion man’. His home is what you see in the show, a crowded cupboard with a mattress on the floor that holds a small collection of clothes and some precious keep sakes.
In the show I.B proclaims, “My dreams are so big, they could fill a whole house”. My own selfish dreams for I.B (I.B it’s all about me not you) involve landing him a contract with an ‘easy wear’ label like Tommy Hilfiger or Yeezy or even just Lowes menswear as their international brand ambassador. Not too much to ask right? If anyone out there can make that happen please DM me.
Single mum, bar woman, head of her household and all-round baller, Mariama is one of the first people I photographed on the blog. I noticed her at my local watering hole – the Plum Store, strutting about the bar in a killer outfit, cutting side-eyes at whoever was watching and taking no sh*t from the standard crowd of inebriated middle aged men. She is my kind of girl.
But the truly magical thing about Mariama is that she is rarely seen in the same outfit twice. She customises, reinvents and changes things up with different accessories and a revolving door of weaves she gets done every second Saturday.
Her look is eclectic and original. The jumpsuit with an embedded find-a-word puzzle and matching shoes, sunglasses and bag genuinely left me speechless, as did that reverse mullet dress. This girl has style, she has imagination and she has attitude.
Watch Episode 1 here.
Fashpack: Freetown is a six part short form series that delves into the colourful world of Freetown’s most stylish people. For those in Australia you can watch it on ABC Iview, for everyone else, I’m afraid you just have to be patient. It will be coming your way in about six months.