The third edition of Africa Fashion Week London has concluded three days of celebration of African fashion right in the heart of London, Old Truman Brewery off Brick Lane 1-3 August.
With over 10,000 guests visiting the venue over three days, Africa Fashion Week London offered an exciting shopping hub for fans of African fashion while attracting international media attention with crews from CNN, BBC, Arise TV, Bloomberg Africa, TVC and Spice TV attending the event.
“We have had a lot of positive feedback from participants and the audience alike as well as great media coverage,” said founder and CEO of Africa Fashion Week London, Ronke Ademiluyi “We have continued to build on what we started in 2011 with this third edition and with the lessons learned this year, we are already planning ahead for next year’s event.”
The event kicked off on Thursday, 1 August with exhibitions at 12noon and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists CEO Dancers opening the first runway of the day. While the first two shows were dedicated to student and young designers such as the 14-year-old Tumisola Ladega and the winners of the Elevated Network competition, the evening show at 8.30pm hosted some stellar emerging talent such as model Nana Afua Antwi with her label Adopted Culture, Ghanaian accessories label SA4A and South African design talents Zandy B, Mtofo Designs, Bello Designs, Afrolucious Designs and LNK Designs.
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Amongst the designers showcasing in the morning of Friday, 2 August, Ghana’s Giberky, Nigeria’s Moofa, Crown Rose swimwear were some of the outstanding names While Steve Mandy’s runway which saw the designer paint ‘live’ one of his trademark painting dresses proved a hit in the second show of the day, Vou Brown brought azonto on to the runway with their 8.30 show followed by vibrant designs of Cameroon’s Liiber London and sophisticated silhouettes by South Africa’s stellar name Thula Sindi.
The third and final day saw Kenya’s Kaveke, Ghanaian label Otudeon and Nigerian Rouge Vallari wow with gorgeous prints while emerging Ghanaian designer Jessica Baah and Zimbabwean designer Portia Mwanaka with her label Killian de Burgh offered edgy designs for women and men respectively. Nigeria’s fast rising fashion star Ella and Gabby dazzled the audience with their vibrant prints, rich colours and gorgeous embellishments showcased in a solo show.
The penultimate show saw elegant designs by Didi Creations and Yutees, a dominantly blue and white palette in crisp designs for men and women by young designer Mariam Afolabi of Mademoiselle Aglaia. The climax came in the shape of Toyin Lawani’s quirky runway which saw the models run, jump, sprint and twerk while modelling the ‘Freedom’ collection from the designer’s Elegante by Tiannahstyling label while the designer did a Beyonce by revealing her growing baby bump on the runway.
While London-based Simeogieme and Abuja-based DZYN offered some amazing designs, the grand finale came in the shape of masterful feminine designs by one of Nigeria’s leading names of fashion Zizi Cardow.
Official hair sponsors Mizani offered a range of styles from mid parting and pigtail braids to sleeked back ponytails to graceful French plaited updos while Fashion Fair team led by Ayo Gorgeous created sultry looks with a focus on strong red, pink and berry lips and smoky eyes.
On the front row were distinguished VIP guests alongside the glamorous AFWL Life Patron Princess Fifi Ejindu and ambassadors model and philanthropist Menaye Donkor-Muntari, The Noisettes lead singer Shingai Shoniwa and model and philanthropist Noella Coursaris Musunka were MP Dianne Abbott, fashion writer and editor of Arise Magazine Helen Jennings, New African Woman editor Regina Jane Jere, Vanguard Allure editor Remi Diagbare amongst others.
The exhibition also proved successful with over 60 vendors bringing the colours, textures and tastes of Africa to a global audience where visitors could purchase African-inspired accessories, clothes, homeware, jewellery while sampling a variety of African cuisine.
The event was covered by international press including CNN, BBC, Arise TV, Bloomberg Africa, Nigeria’s TVC as well as event partners OH TV, Spice TV, Black Hair, Black Beauty and Hair amongst others.
Africa Fashion Week London aims to be back in London with a fourth edition in 2014 and continue to provide a global platform for all African and African inspired designers to showcase their work to an international audience.
For more information please visit www.africafashionweeklondon.com