Monday, August 17, 2015

Celebrating African Fashion

We recently saw African Fashion Week take over London. LuxeModels digests what is undoubtedly one of the world’s best glimpses of African Fashion.

Held at the Olimpia, this year was the fifth edition of the event since its inception in 2011. As well as those, there have also been at least ten events on the back of it held by third-party organisers including The Mayor of London’s Black History Month celebrations and the annual Africa Centre Summer Festival.

African Fashion

Upcoming designers have the opportunity to prove themselves at the event, with talent, creativity, and output all on display through the open-to-the-public event.

“It’s a conscious decision we made,” AFWL’s creative director, Sola Oyebade once told THISDAY. “We don’t go for the big names. We try to give a platform to young designers and help push their products out there. We’ve had top designers approach us, but told them, no, this is not your market.”

African Fashion Week Luxe Models

And the 2015 event was themed ‘Apprentice and Skill Development’ – it saw a plethora of young, aspiring designers join some more well-known stylists including Taiwanese Aimme Ku, who is flying the flag for Africa-inspired fashion in her native Taipei City. Nigerian designer, Needlepoint, was a favourite from last year’s event and was also in attendance with her new range this year. And the winner of the Mercedes-Benz Best Designer in Africa, Mary Martin, made her bow on the AFWL catwalk this year.

Big Fashion Designers

Victoria Michaels is one of the most sought-after designers in Africa. Her repertoire includes advertisements for Hertz Rent-a-car, Vodafone, MTN, Nexcafe, Da-Vica and Bela-Aqua mineral water.

Noella Musunka is also an international model and the founder of Malaika, a non-profit organisation which is aimed lives in her native Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the build-up to the event, she told the press: “It feels really great to be chosen as the Brand Ambassador for a globally acclaimed proudly African event like the African Fashion Week London… I’m particularly excited to be part of this grand platform that showcases the original African creativity, style and talent.”

“This industry has the ability to put Africa on the world stage and can provide for countless job opportunities on the ground and abroad, from local factories to international shops. It is time for the world to see the amazing talent that lies within Africa.”

It is expected that the African Fashion Week will be even bigger next year, with designers from all over the world taking inspiration from African cultures into their collections.

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