Meet our 2020 Finalists

Avis Charles

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Wells Fargo

Judging Day Sponsor and Host
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Avis Charles,

Couturier and Fashion Consultant,
Avis Charles Associate


Avis Charles is a graduate of London College of Fashion (UAL) and initially started her career as a trainee at Susan Small, Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, whose clients included the British Royal Family in addition to global high profile individuals. It is here she honed the skill of Haute Couture under the expertise eye of mavens whom experience as enabled her to retain the skills as an exceptional couturier.


This foundation has led to over forty year of continuous development in an ever changing fashion environment led to founding Avis Charles Associates (ACA), a strategic fashion consultancy specialising in creative direction through to product development. ACA has developed educational, training and vocational programs in the African continent, the Caribbean. This led to the company formulating the strategy for Africa Fashion International (AFI)’s bi-annual fashion weeks, which is one of the largest successful fashion week and designer development events on the continent.


Avis’ interest in traditional crafts, cultural heritage has led to create initiatives for the IFC/World Bank, the British Council and the International Trade Centre (ITC) along with consulting with international academic institutions, Non Governmental Organisations (NGO)’s and global brands inclusion on sustainability.

 These projects have projected female artisanal talent in Peru, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Ethiopia and India, by directional mentoring enabling them to reach their full economic potential. Avis works tirelessly to increase opportunities for young people, by working with the Princes Trust along with mentoring, teenager entrepreneurs. She is a dedicated supporter of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Women for Women (WfWI). It is this relationship which has led Avis to combine personal ethics regarding sustainability plus the support for women, who strive daily in challenging environments to create Kivu.

Kivu - Avis’ silk scarf range, with it’s exquisite print designs, inspired by countries where conflict has devastated the lives of women. Kivu is Avis’s silk scarf range showcasing exquisite print designs inspired by countries where conflict has devastated the lives of women.

 Proceeds from sales from Kivu go to WfWi, thus incorporating luxury and philanthropic values. Avis has sat on a number of private sector and government boards and is a regular speaker at international conferences, including the World Economic Forum. She was honoured at Women: Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE)’s roll call of 50 of the UK’s most inspirational women in business and leadership.

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