After winning an array of prestigious awards in 2010, Bunmi Koko, who has worked with top designers Allison Rodger and Alexander McQueen, as well as for luxury brands Prada, Harrods and Louis Vuitton, added the accolade of a private audience with Nelson Mandela.
This meeting prompted Bunmi Koko to turn the creative spotlight onto the world’s hungry children – joining the ranks of those committed to ‘Fill the Cup’* - the vital accessory of some 22 million children in the developing world who benefit from WFP’s school meals programme.
Bunmi Olaye and Francis Udom, who own the brand, are both originally from Nigeria. “We want our clients to realise that filling the Red Cup signifies hope for hungry children,” says Francis.
Bunmi adds: “We all know it’s harder to concentrate on an empty stomach – and that’s why we’re joining WFP to ensure no child goes to school hungry.”
There are 66 million primary school-age children who attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
“When a Fashion high-flyer such as Bunmi Koko focuses on the injustice of millions of children going hungry, it makes influential people pay attention to their plight,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran.
A daily school meal provides a strong incentive to send children to school and keep them there and allows the children to focus on their studies not their stomachs.
In addition to creating greater awareness about hunger, the Bunmi Koko Red Cup Label scarf and macbook case -- perfect for carrying your laptop to work, school or out-and- about -- gives Bunmi Koko’s customers a fashionable way to support poor children all over the world. Fifty percent of the profits arising from each sale of a Bunmi Koko-designed WFP product will go towards feeding hungry children.
Bunmi Koko was founded in March 2009 by designer Bunmi Olaye and her partner Francis Udom. The brand name was inspired by the designers first name Bunmi meaning ‘God gave me’ and Koko, (Francis’ nickname for Bunmi) meaning ‘my other half’ – therefore Bunmi Koko meaning ‘God gave me my other half’.
Bunmi Olaye was born in Nigeria and came to the UK aged 14 to study, following courses at Wimbledon School of Art and London College of Fashion, Bunmi recently graduated from the University of East London with a degree in Design and Marketing. During her studying, she made clothes for individual clients, most notably Mel B, and worked with couture designer Allison Rodger and Alexander McQueen. Bunmi has also worked for luxury companies such as Prada, Harrods and Louis Vuitton - helping her develop her creative style and gain an understanding of luxury garments.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. WFP’s “Fill the Cup”* campaign seeks to provide every hungry child in developing countries with a cup of nutritious food (costing an average 20 pence) and thus provide both nourishment and learning. WFP currently feeds one third of the world’s 66 million hungry school age children. “Fill the Cup” derives from a RED cup given by Lily, a child in Uganda, to Josette Sheeran, WFP’s Executive Director. It has become a potent symbol of hope – fill the cup and you feed the future.
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