Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN), opens tomorrow, June 3, at the iconic National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. After three successful years at the Eko Hotel, AFW Nigeria has moved its venue to the National Theatre, in a bid to continue to promote and showcase the African culture and heritage to a global audience. According to AFWN founder, Ronke Ademiluyi, the 4th edition of the fashion week will be holding on the 3rd and 4th of June at Nigeriaâ€™s iconic National Arts Theatre Lagos, where Africaâ€™s culture was showcased in all its grandeur and splendor 40 years ago when Nigeria hosted the world at the African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77), in staying true to our African heritage.
She stated further that the long term growth of the fashion industry is grounded in developing initiatives to ensure that Nigeria remains in the forefront of creativity, centre of fashion, style and innovation, which is why the best of Africaâ€™s emerging and established fashion talents will be showcasing at this historic monument to reflect the dynamism of African fashion and our roots.
This year’s AFWN will feature 56 designers and 40 exhibitors selected from various parts of Nigeria and the African continent. They are all in Lagos to celebrate and showcase creativity on a platform that turns creativity into sustainability.
Some of the designers showcasing include Modella, Kola Kuddus, Maufechi, Regalia by FAL, Blingshiki, Zizi Cardow, Marobuk, Tash by Tasha, Linda Ngwi (Cameroun) Sally Bawa, Alex Akande (Cameroon), Afrikawala (Zambia), Del Africa (Jos), and Eve Design (Senegal).
For this edition AFWN selected fast rising 53 extra presenter, Amira Ibrahim Alfa, as the face of AFWN 2017 and she will be co-hosting the Red Carpet with â€˜Derenle Edun of Lip Sync South Africa. Amira was chosen because sheâ€™s a model representation of todayâ€™s young African woman, who is vibrant, vivacious and unafraid to dream by stepping out of the norm to contribute her quota and make her mark.
AFWNâ€™s strongest pillar of support its development is its grand patron, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and then its chairman, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi who said he is honoured and delighted to be associated with AFWN . They will both be gracing the event with their royal presence. Other dignitaries expected to attend include Princess Abiola Dosunmu Erelu of Lagos, The speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly,
Hon. Funmi Tejuoso, Acting Commissioner for Transport Lagos State, members of the diplomatic corps, The Nigerian Export Promotion Council and Executive Management Bank of Industry.
â€œOur 2017 focus is on education in the fashion industry and we are currently in the process of developing qualifications in African fashion with the ATHE, supporting the growth of emerging talent into the fashion industry. We believe that for creativity to grow there needs to be a platform that supports and promotes its growthâ€, Ademiluyi added.
In exploring the multifaceted achievement of Africa fashion globally, the adoption of African fabric and designersâ€™ creativeness into the heart of IKEA (the worldâ€™s biggest furniture and homeware store) is an undeniable testament of the untapped potentials of Africa fashion as a catalyst for economic development, bilateral engagement, cultural potency, and intellectual superiority of the African continent. As IKEAâ€™s design manager Marcus Engman stated, â€œâ€˜the creative explosion which is taking place in several cities around Africa right now is something IKEA is curious about and we want to learn from this and spread it to the rest of the world. Working together with these designers and creatives gives us the opportunity to do soâ€. That is why AFWN will continue to be in the forefront of promoting and nurturing Africa talents to fulfil their potential.