Events and festivals dedicated to African fashion are popping up all over the world. More manufacturers, designers and markets are recognizing that consumers want African designs, and these events are well attended. They’re creating opportunities for the fashion industries in Africa and the African diaspora. Some of the events help locals break into the commercial world of fashion, teaching them the finances and business behind fashion, and letting them show off their work on the runway. Here are 12 African fashion events that attract big business.
Mercedes Benz African Fashion Festival
The opening party for this year’s glitzy Mercedes Benz African Fashion Festival was hosted by top Ghanaian TV personality, Jon Germain. The festival took place at the World Trade Centre in Accra, Ghana, and featured catwalk shows, talks by industry leaders and “pop-up shops from over 50 of the world’s best-loved labels,” according to Ameyabdebrah.com. The committee behind the event hopes it becomes an international one.
Swahili Fashion Week
Swahili Fashion Week is the brainchild of top male African designer, Mustafa Hassanali. Hassanali, who is from Tanzania, has showcased around the world and now he puts on this annual event where designers from Swahili-speaking countries can showcase their talents for the international industry. The event aims to do many things for the East African fashion world including, creating opportunities for East African products in African Diaspora market, according to Africafashionguide.com.
ECOWAS Fashion Week
ECOWAS — Economic Community of West African States — works to tie together the economies of the West African region. One way it does so is with ECOWAS Fashion Week, where designers and manufacturers from the 15 member community countries come together to showcase their work. This year marked the event’s 4oth anniversary and took place in Benin, according to Completefashion.org.
Nairobi Fashion Week
Kenya’s Nairobi Fashion Week is one of the most prestigious events. Only 15 designers are selected to showcase their newest designs. Recent contenders have included Miss World China, Bertha Owusu, with her label Lumiere Couture and designer to the stars, Chloe Mitchell, says Africafashionguide.com.
Lagos Fashion and Design Week
Lagos Fashion Week is embarking on its fifth year. The event draws consumers, wholesale buyers and media to Lagos, offering fashion shows, workshops and showrooms. Its aim is to provide ongoing support to designers via mentorship, education and capacity building as well as opportunities to present their work before an audience that facilitates commerce, according to Lagosfashionanddesignweek.com.
Kampala Fashion Week
Kampala Fashion Week aims to guide and provide an educational institute supported by Ugandan Fashion Council, says Africafashionguide.com. The event focuses on helping locals break into the commercial world of fashion, teaching them the finances and business behind fashion, and letting them show off their work in front of the industry. Most events take place at the Acacia Mall Rooftop.
Africa Fashion Week London
African Fashion Week may not take place in Africa, but it only showcases African and African-inspired design, according to Africafashionweeklondon.com. The event has gone on for four years, featuring over 300 designers and drawing in over 45,000 visitors. All events are open to the public, so the event provides enormous exposure to featured creatives.
Black Fashion Week
Senegalese designer Adama Paris is the creative force behind Black Fashion Week. After working in fashion for over a decade and hosting fashion-related events, Paris decided to launch Black Fashion Week in Prague, Paris, Montreal and Bahia. The event gathers some of the most innovative and edgy designers, most of whom have an African background, to show off their work. Blackfashionweekparis.com says that the event likes to show, “fashion that imposes itself beyond prejudices.”
Dakar Fashion Week
Dakar Fashion Week’s aim is to “celebrate black beauty and the emancipation of the black woman,” according to Dakarfashionweek.com. The event aims to put Senegalese designers in front of international buyers and consumers. Walking in Dakar Fashion Week is a career goal for many African models, Bbc.com said. Designer Adama Paris is behind this event, too.
West Africa Fashion Awards
The West Africa Fashion Awards are held in a different city each year. To be nominated is considered “the region’s highest honor for excellence in fashion and contribution towards development in the fashion industry in Western Africa,” according to Fashionmaniagh.com. Award categories include Fabric Manufacturer of the Year, Fashion Photographer of the Year, And Makeup Artist of the Year.
All Things Ankara Fashion Week D.C.
All Things Ankara Fashion Week is just what it sounds like–an event that showcases Ankara print fashion. Ankara, otherwise known as African wax print or simply wax print, is a print that features vibrant, tribal-like patterns and is a staple of African traditional clothing. The event takes place in Maryland, U.S., and according to Africafashionguide.com already has over 23,000 followers on Instagram. All Things Ankara Fashion Week works to integrate the print into international markets.
Passion 4 Fashion Africa
Passion 4 Fashion is a show that tours fashion events around the world. It has been featured at some of the aforementioned shows including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as well as Miami Fashion Week, according to Africafashionguide.com. The event focuses on ethical fashion and features all-African designers. Consumers can order pieces from designers on the spot at the event.
Source: AFK Insider