The three day fashion event came to an exciting end on Easter Sunday with a surprise performance by the foremost Starboy, Wizkid. Introduced by the headliner of this year’s event, Naomi Campbell, who shares a special bond with the musician, Wizkid got the crowd cheering when he launched into his popular hit ‘Fever’. The excited crowd sang along as he performed other smashing hits including his 2014 single ‘Ojuelegba’.
The previous day had the Black Diamond, Wande Coal entertaining the fashion world with his melodious voice.
Described as the most beautiful runway in Africa, the sixth edition of Arise Fashion Week (AFW) showcased a beautiful array of African creative talents on and off the runway.
With over 30 designers from Africa, America and Europe, the runway was lit with an assortment of fabrics that highlighted the craftsmanship and beautiful colours of Africa. Some of the designers who made very lasting impression on the runway included Nigerian brand Tiffany Amber, Mai Atafo, Ituen Basi, Deola Sagoe, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Moroccan Maison ArtC, and Colombian Esteban Cortazar.
With over 150 models on the runway, Campbell wowed the audience the most each time she stepped on the runway. She walked the runway for Mai Atafo, Esteban Cortazar, Tiffany Amber, Kenneth Ize, to mention a few. Other international models who walked the runway include Alton Mason, Liya Kebede, Oluchi Orlandi and Agbani Darego.
Berthed over a decade ago, it has always been the mission of the organisers, Arise Media to showcase African fashion designers globally. Last year, AFW 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.
This year, however, the focus was on the business of fashion through the Arise Talks — a platform where major heads behind notable fashion brands as well as media personalities plumbed the issues revolving around the business of fashion and how it is changing the African narrative.
It was during one of the sessions that Campbell announced her deal with the Italian luxury fashion brand Gucci that will discover and reward talents in universities across Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, through a fellowship. University of Lagos was chosen as the beneficiary in Nigeria. According to the British model, it is her own way of contributing to changing the African narrative.
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.
The event was highly lauded by the cream of the society for its efforts in promoting the African brand. Like one of the designers Esteban puts it, next year AFW “ will be better, it is the future.”