• Campbell moves to promote African fashion

Vanessa Obioha

For the next two days, the cream of the fashion world will converge at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island for this year’s edition of Arise Fashion Week (AFW).

Described as ‘the most beautiful runway in Africa’ the fashion festival which was berthed over a decade ago is adjudged the most prestigious platform to showcase Africa’s creative talents through fashion and music.

International models like Naomi Campbell, who is here to promote African fashion, Grace Bol, Georgie Badiel, Millen Magese, and Oluchi Orlandi, have walked the AFW runway over the years, showcasing the best of African designs.

Since its return last year, AFW has continued in its commitment to push the African narrative, positioning the black continent as a hub of creative talents.

Last year’s edition recorded an impressive attendance and a dazzling runway that once again, placed the continent on the global stage. 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 walked the runway at the 2018 edition.

As part of its commitment to groom fashion designers that will distinguish themselves globally, Arise Media, which organises the yearly fashion fete, introduced a life-changing novelty known as the ARISE Fashion Management and Mentoring Programme (AFMMP).

The AFMMP was designed for start-ups in the fashion business that can be nurtured to international brands.
Apart from shining the light on the continent through fashion, AFW also contributed to the arts and tourism sector of Lagos State such that the state recognised it as one of the key events to attend this year in the state’s arts and culture calendar.

Now in its sixth edition, AFW will be welcoming both local and international fashion professionals to a robust conversation on the evolving fashion industry in Africa both on and off the runway. 37 local and international designers are set to showcase their creativity on the runway this Easter weekend.

There will be Arise Talks where major heads behind notable fashion brands as well as media personalities will plumb the issues revolving around the business of fashion and how it is changing the African narrative.

Kicking off today’s discourse are Campbell; Reni Folawiyo of Alara; Executive Director of FSDH, Funsho Olusanya; and CEO Henshaw Capital Partners, Barbara James.

The team will be discussing the ‘Business of Fashion: Exploring All the Facets of the Emerging Markets in Africa’ in a panel that will be moderated by Lola Ogunnaike of People Magazine.

Another session will see the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; Managing Director of Imara Africa Consulting, Barbara Barungi; and Ituen Bassey sharing ideas on the topic ‘From Retail to Export: Building a Sustainable Market’. The session will be moderated by the CEO of National Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo.
There will also be talks with the Editor-in-Chief of international fashion magazine, Vogue UK, Edward Enninful.

Tomorrow, the talks continue with Executive Fashion News Editor of Vogue U.S.A., Olivier Singer, who will be analysing ‘The Essence of Design and Textiles’ with international model and activist, Liya Kebede; Designer, Post Imperial, Niyi Okuboyejo; Costume Designer, Eniola Dawodu; and Managing Director of Garment Care, Adeola Bali.

Conversation will also be held with enigmatic Andre Leon Talley of Vogue Magazine as well as a film screening.
The festival will culminate in Easter Sunday, April 21 with exciting shows on the runway.

Designers that will grace the runway today include Turfah, Torlowei, Mai Atafo, Tokyo James, 3.Paradis, Tzar, Clan, Papa Oppong, Nkwo, and Selam Fessahaye.

Other designers to watch on the runway include Style Temple, Andrea Iyamah, Lanre Da Silva, Tiffany Amber among others.