S’Africa Leads Foreign Participation as Designers for ARISE Fashion Week are Unveiled

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 • Ozwald Boateng, Deola Sagoe, Ituen Basi, Lanre da Silva among shortlist

By Funke Babs-Kufeji

Africa’s premier fashion show, ARISE Fashion Week (AFW), is set to deliver one of its most exciting line-ups to date, when it returns to Lagos on March 30 to April at the Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly Intercontinental Hotel).

The most prominent fashion show in Africa, famed for handpicked curation of exclusive style, fresh and renowned talent, as well as acclaimed international names in fashion, is once again attracting a host of original African or African-inspired brands.

Over the course of three days, the ARISE Fashion Week 2018 runway event in Lagos will feature 50 designers from 15 countries including South Africa with seven designers, the largest after Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Canada, Tanzania, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Morocco, Botswana, and many more. 

To kick off the three-day event on the morning of Saturday, March 31, the fashion extravanganza will have the distinction of showcashing the first Supermodel Masterclass ever to be held in the country, an ARISE Fashion Mentoring and Bootcamp, United Nations Special event, representatives of the federal government meeting with key designers, and The Showcase that will be anchored by Banke Kuku.

Later in the day will feature  some of the best internationally acclaimed designers: LaurenceAirlines from Cote d’Ivoire and Paris, known for establishing a new space for contemporary African fashion across the globe as well as young South African designer, Thebe Magugu, who’s craftsmanship and attention to design have garnered worldwide recognition.

Day one will also feature styles from Canadian designer, Aurora James, the UK’s very own singer and performer, Nigerian-born Tinnie Tempah, celebrated Tanzanian designer, Mustafa Hassanali, Orapeleng Modutle and KLûK CGDT, both from South Africa. KLûK CGDT has participated in every ARISE show.

From Nigeria are Funke Adepoju, Clan, Vonne Couture, About That Curvy Life Collective, Andrea Iyamah, Style Temple, Okunoren Twins, Ituen Basi and Lanre Da Silva Ajayi. 

Day two is to set to highlight designers offering luxurious and unique styles. From Germany, Sarah Duah will be featured on the catwalk, along with Koki Kamala from Botswana, Amine Bendriouich from Morocco, and South African-born designer and ARISE original, Gavin Rajah who regularly shows at the Paris Fashion Week will grace the runway with his glamorous, yet refined designs. 

Again from Nigeria will be Grey, Abaya Lagos, Taryor Gabriel, Ilare, House of Divas, Lagos, Ziva, Lagos, Tzar, Kimono Kollection, Mai Atafo, Tsemaye Binitie, Jewel by Lisa and Tiffany Amber.

To round off the show, day three of AFW 2018 will boast leading designers from both the UK and U.S. Self-taught, successful designer, known for dressing Cardi B., Rihanna and Beyonce, Laquan Smith, will be making his way back to Lagos from the U.S., to showcase his custom made, bare-to-there fashion.

He will be joined by Ghanaian-British fashion designer, Ozwald Boateng, most known for the transformational impact he’s had on menswear fashion for almost three decades.

The day will also display designs from South African designers Maxhosa by Laduma, Rich Mnisi and Lakhanyo Midingi, while Nigerian icons will include Moofa, Dzyn, House of Nwocha, Maxivive, Sunny Rose, Tokyo James, Maki Oh, Gozel Green, Bridget Awosika, Ere Dappa, Odion Mimonet and Deola Sagoe.

As is the custom, the best of these will be selected to showcase their designs during the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in September this year.

“We are excited to bring world-class fashion back to Lagos in the real sense of it. The bar will definitely be raised once more with strong collaborations, innovation, and creativity,” she had said last week. 

Eleven years ago, Africa’s fashion industry became truly global with the birth of ARISE, the synonym for “Africa Rising”.

AFW helped to put Nigeria firmly on the global fashion map, showcasing and promoting African designers on the runways of the world, from London’s famous Royal Albert Hall, to Washington DC’s powerful J.F. Kennedy Center, to the legendary triple appearance during the iconic NYFW, to vivacious Lagos and Abuja, to magnetic Johannesburg and Cape Town, and to fabulous Paris. 

The AFW runway has seen global fashion icons and leading models such as Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Liya Kedebe, Oluchi Orlandi, and others showcase the best of Africa. 

From March 30 to April 2 at the Lagos Continental Hotel, AFW 2018 will once again showcase the best and brightest fashion designers from around the world.   

Still the most prominent fashion show in Africa, AFW continues to hold its prestige as the premier event where the global fashion elite will once again converge: the intersection of the international and the African; where a global audience of buyers, financiers, retailers, the fashionista and the media gather;  where authenticity and originality meet innovation and style; where fashion truly matters.