This past week saw the start and finish of the highly anticipated Africa Fashion Week London. Taking place from 7 to 9 August, AFWL’s main aim is to celebrate and showcase the talents offered by the highly multicultural design aesthetic that stretches throughout Africa.
Created by London-born Ronke Ademiluyi, the event is the biggest in Europe with a focus on African talent and design. It has proven to be a much-needed platform for pieces from the Continent, and for fashion stakeholders to extend to the international market as well as raise awareness of African fashion. But it’s not only a fashion showcase; it’s a chance to find fresh faces and support up-coming models in Africa. This year Nigerian-born Chinyelum Nwuba won the 2014 Face of AFWL. AFWL promotes designers who make use of African or African-inspired prints, textiles and fabrics and, in turn, these designers are aiding the countries in Africa where they source their materials or gain inspiration. MIA by Mia Nisbet (above, top) takes inspiration from Malawian culture. Her concept is to use recycled Malawian fabrics and textiles and combine these with modern silhouettes and shapes with the profits from her business being reinvested into the country itself. Another designer making a difference through her designs is Njema Helena (above, bottom) who, having designed for brands such as Ralph Lauren, strives to promote local trade and employment by sourcing produce exclusively from Kenya.
AFWL’s mission? “To increase the visibility and awareness of our designers by providing them with an affordable global showcasing platform, to bridge the gap between our designers and their potential clients and to generate local and international media interest for them, ensuring they are better equipped to carry their brand forward and reach their target market with ease.”
Read more here: www.africafashionweeklondon.com