Campbell, Mason to Grace ARISE Fashion Week Starting Today


By Vanessa Obioha

The anticipated largest fashion event on the continent ARISE Fashion Week will commence today and will be graced by prominent international models.

Denizens of African fashion universe can look forward to seeing, a long-time partner and international supermodel Naomi Campbell, American model and first black male to walk for international fashion brand Chanel, Alton Mason, and top Senegalese model Alpha Dia strut the runway in iconic pieces.

As the fashion world adjusts to the challenges of a pandemic-riddled year, ARISE Fashion Week will be bringing the best of African fashion to a global audience virtually. The show will be streamed live on the new ARISEPLAY streaming service and other ARISE/THISDAY platforms throughout the three days it holds.

This year’s event is significant in many ways. First, the spotlight will be on young designers.

Previous editions have mainly focused on prominent fashion designers and spotlight a few rising stars.

About 150 designers across Africa applied to be featured on the most glamorous runway in Africa but only 30 were selected. They include Pepper Row, Onalaja, Kenneth Ize, Fruche and Geto.

Not only will the selected designers have the lifetime opportunity to showcase their creativity, they will also be rewarded for their talents. It is a first for the fashion event.

About $500,000 will be shared among participants in different competitive categories. The designers will be judged based on aesthetics, presentation and market value.

Co-producer of the show, Ruth Osime, revealed recently that the monetary reward was deliberate and is a way of supporting young designers who often grapple with pecuniary challenges when launching.

“We’re looking forward to launching a new designer that will also be making waves internationally,” said Osime. “It’s not just enough for us to be known only in Nigeria. One of the ways to be successful is to spread your tentacles across the world.”

She added that at least five designers will be given the credibility and exposure that they need to take their brand to the next level.