By Vanessa Obioha
The trio of Naomi Campbell, Tiffany Amber and Ozwald Boateng were part of the horde of A-list fashionistas who graced the show yesterday as the Arise Fashion Week comes to a climactic end today,
Men fashion which dominated activities that lined up the second day of the star-studded event was redefined on the runway of Arise Fashion Week as Taryor Gabriels, Kimono Kollection showcased iconic pieces.
From its famous tuxedos and jackets with lapels, the male models strut the Kimono brand on the runway. Adding a new twist to his collection is the new metrosexual look-a unique dungaree worn over a shirt. A daring look that raised eyebrows in the audience but may definitely point to a new fashion trend.
Nigerian top model Oluchi Orlandi and Nollywood actor Richard Mofe-Damijo were also among the models who walked the runway of Arise Fashion Week. Donning iconic pieces of South African luxury fashion brand Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue, the Nigerian model who was catapulted into the international scene after winning the M-Net Face of Africa in 1998 oozed elegance as she sashayed in a gorgeous black dress, eliciting applause from her audience. Oluchi who is based in New York is one of the main highlights of the Arise Fashion Week, alongside international supermodel Naomi Campbell who had a special meet-and-greet session with other designers on the opening night of the AFW.
Also stealing the show was Nollywood actor Richard Mofe-Damijo who walked the runway for Taryor Gabriels, a Lagos-based fashion designer. Taryor elevated the men’s fashion with his unique suits, jackets and senator outfits. Dressed in an embroidered Agbada with a red priest cloak draped over his shoulders, Mofe-Damijo walked the runway like a king. Although his steps were a bit fast-paced, the theatrical display fetched him a loud ovation.
Earlier, ex-Big Brother Naija housemate Leo walked the runway for Kimono Kollection.
Making her debut in the Arise Fashion Week is Funke Adepoju of Phunk Afrique. She brought glow and frills on the runway, with most of her creations showcasing dance and movement.
For the night, there were music performances from Seyi Shay and Dice Ailes.
The second day of the Arise Fashion Week also saw other designers like Yutee Rone, Mustafa Hassanali , Imad Esuso among others.
The show on the opening day kicked off with Vonne Couture, owned by the Lagos based fashion designer Yvonne Nwosu. Her collection-brightly coloured apparels with floral patterns- is resplendent in the traditional Hawaii culture.
However, it was Latasha Ngwugbe, who dropped some jaws when the plus size models strut the runway. Under the fashion brand, About that Curvy Life, she celebrated big women who are rarely presented the opportunity to walk the runway. She took a bold step by dressing the models in edgy and sheer garments that speak volumes of their confidence. Jumpsuits, kimonos, lacy sequinned gowns, the models cheered by the crowd walked the runway with pride.
“It’s a good approach to the fashion industry, particularly for African women who are not really skinny. It’s a bold statement that we are diverse and look nice,” said Uzo, one of the models who is also a chef.
Abaya Lagos, a fashion brand that serves as the melting pot of Asian/Arabian fashion, also dazzled the audience with its cosmopolitan styles of Abayas and kaftans, accentuated by turbans and sunshades.
Expectedly, Tiffany Amber owned by Lanre Da-Silva left the audience in awe of her collection which was a delectable mix. She experimented with gold colours, spawning sheer elegance with her fabrics on the runway.
Arguably adjudged the most beautiful runway in Africa, Arise Fashion Week is poised to celebrate the most iconic fashion designers in the continent as well as in the diaspora.
The ARISE Fashion Week 2018 runway kicked off on Friday with a meet and greet session with supermodel Naomi Campbell who is the headliner of the fashion event.
Since its inception over a decade ago, ARISE Fashion Week has been adjudged one of the best fashion events to come out of Africa. Famous fashion designers in the continent and the diaspora such as Ozwald Baoteng had dazzled the runway with intricate designs. With over 40 designers from 14 countries for its fifth edition, Arise Fashion Week is poised to celebrate the most iconic fashion designers in the continent as well as in the diaspora. As part of its commitment to empower fashion entrepreneurs, the organisers launched a life-changing novelty known as the ARISE Fashion Management and Mentoring Programme (AFMMP).
The AFMMP is an innovation curated by ARISE Media, promoters of AFW, for start-ups in the fashion business that can be nurtured to international brands in fulfilment of one of the founding objectives of the AFW which is to groom African designers who can distinguish themselves globally.
The AFMMP started on March 27 with a short, intensive, and rigorous training where designers participating in the AFW 2018 will have access to a faculty of experts, who will engage the selected designers on Fashion Business and Financial Management, the Business of Luxury, Supply Chain Management, Strategic Planning, Merchandising, Retail and Export Strategies, Social Media Strategies, Image and Reputation Management, Brand Acceleration, and most importantly, 10 Steps to Becoming World Class.
At the end of the training, participants will be expected to produce a commercially viable business plan. The top 30 proposals will be selected to receive financial, entrepreneurial, mentoring and business support. Each winning designer will be awarded N10 million funding to enhance the designer’s infrastructure, supply chain, retail and export plans.
According to Orode Imevbore, AFMMP Programme Coordinator: “This funding will be provided by a consortium of banks including Zenith Bank, Access Bank, GT Bank. Other benefits include a brand accelerator, and a global mentor, drawn from leading design luminaries from around the world, who will donate their time and expertise to take Africa’s fashion brands global. Arrangements are also being concluded with leading consultants and business schools to ensure sustainability with quarterly classes.”
As the show ends today at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, 45 designers from between 12 and 14 countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Germany, Canada, France, Morocco, the United Kingdom, United States, the Caribbean and Nigeria will parade the runway.