Omoyemi Akerele successfully did it again, as she assembled everybody involved in every aspect of the fashion industry, from fashion designers, models, makeup artists, stylists, fashion writers and bloggers, buyers, influencers and the fashionable cosmopolitan crowd. Another unique thing about her show is the fact that she has brought back diversity and continued global conversation of body positivity through The Aboutthatcurvylife Collective.

Stretching from October 25-26, Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week galvanised the entire African continent. It was a four-day event which was filled with non-stop activities, including Fashion Business Series, African Development Bank’s Fashionomics initiative, Fashion Focus Talks, Runway Shows and the Live Your Music After Party hosted by Heineken, all on the same grounds at Eko Atlantic. This year’s events themed “Africa: Shaping Fashion’s Future,” The 5th season of Fashion Business Series, tagged “Technology and the Fashion Industry: What lies ahead?” was hosted on Day 2 of #HLFDW17 in partnership with Style House Files, TECNO, FETS Wallet, NEPC, Business Day and Eko Atlantic. Speakers included:

• Cosmas Maduka, President/CEO Coscharis Motors, spoke on the importance of partnerships, building credibility and consistency in business;

• Mark Van Iterson, Design and Concept Lead at Heineken Global, gave attendees an insight into why Heineken chose to partner with a fashion platform because of the brand’s futuristic way of thinking and its passion for design and technology;

•Sissi Johnson, MBA Professor and Brand Strategist, spoke about excellence and creating outstanding content using a clear strategy;

• TECNO Mobile spoke about the importance of Technology in the development of Fashion, featuring Gbemi Olagbegi of Gbemisoke as a case study;

•Mode Aderinokun, Founder at Studio on Mode, spoke about how to source fabrics in Nigeria;

• Asiyami Gold, Curator, spoke on authenticity, composition and the importance of a brand’s story;

•Masana Chikeka, Sector Manager Design Department of Arts and Culture (South Africa) who spoke about Art, Culture and Technology in South Africa.

Days Three and Four of #HLFDW17 began with the Fashion Focus Talks:

•AFDB Disrupt Fashion by Emanuela Gregorio – Gender and Innovation Economist (AHGC – AFDB), Masimba Biriwasha (Hivos), Wilson Matekenya (Hivos), Marnix van Holiand (Hivos), Vuyo Tofile (Entbanc Group) and Omoyemi Akerele, Founder Style House Files;

•Fashion Entrepreneurship and Creating a Brand with Sara Maino, Deputy Editor-In-Chief of Vogue Italia and Head of Vogue Talents, and Parminder Vir, CEO of Tony Elumelu Foundation

• Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA Group Plc, Seadrill Nigeria Ltd and Transcorp Plc — Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate, also addressed designers and fashion entrepreneurs at the AFDB Fashionomics masterclass;

•“What is Modest Fashion?”, led by Muslimah Style Guide – Fashion Consultancy for Modest Fashionistas;

• “The Power of Collaboration”, led by The Assembly – URL/IRL hub empowering and impacting the fashion and creative eco-system;

•Style and Building a Global Brand – led by Bonang Matheba, South African TV Personality in collaboration with BellaNaija Style. Bonang mentioned “To be recognised globally, you need to be a brand that is trustworthy, reliable, always willing to learn and grow yourself!”

Heineken showcased an African Inspired Fashion in collaboration with designers from East Africa and conducted the grand finale. The runway shows ended with a thrilling performance from the queen of Afro-pop, Tiwa Savage, who was adorned in one of Heineken’s African inspired pieces.

Some of the highlights from the #HLFDW17 Experience Section include:

•The Creators Lounge, which played host to a space for Bloggers and Creators alike. The space was curated by The Assembly to allow creatives to mingle and network with each other.

• The Designer Consociate in partnership with the NEPC Human Capital Development Center (HCDC) and #HLFDW17 created “The Designer Shirt Project”, an exclusive Designer Collection with 6 Designers – Andrea Iyamah, Bridget Awosika, Grey, Lisa Folawiyo, Loza Maleombho, and VathiswabyKeji who crafted their take on a Classic Shirt, according to their brand aesthetic. All designs were manufactured locally by HCDC and sold exclusively at #HLFDW17 – over the four day period at N15, 000 only.

•Street style from top influencers and celebrities from around Africa and the rest of the world.

•The Food court curated by #HLFDW17 and Eat Drink Lagos. Supported by FETS Wallet.

• The Heineken Live Your Music After Party featuring Heineken’s Global Ambassador and musical sensation, Jidenna.

#HLFDW17 was proudly sponsored by Heineken, Style House Files, Maybelline, NEPC, Visionscape, FETS Wallet, TECNO, Eko Atlantic and supported by Newton & David, Taxify, Mitsubishi Motors, and Garment Care.

Business mogul, Alhaji Dangote, Nana Otedola and her daughter Teni, among other dignitaries and fashion lovers attended the show.