Saturday, 19 March 2011


FAB Greetings!!
I'm currently listening to my Africa: 50 Years of Music album which I think is an appropriate soundtrack to end my fashion week marathon. It’s a week since the Arise and the This Day team stormed Lagos and took over Federal Palace Hotel to present the world with 50 of Africa’s greatest fashion talent. Arise Magazine Fashion Week [AMFW] to many, was an ambitious project to embark on so suddenly especially given the “naija factor” which at a point became another tired cliché. When will we start taking responsibility for our own actions and stop passing the buck whenever something goes wrong in Nigeria?...She/he has feelings too…another blog post for another day. 

FAB Team at AMFW
Ambitious it may have been, AMFW is a platform to showcase the exceptional design talent Africa has to offer, [“it’s been a loooong time coming”] an eclectic explosion of individual expression and collective passion for our culture and fashion. For many, AMFW was also a chance to parade the red carpet and rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of Nigeria’s fashion and entertainment industry when your press or VIP pass allowed you into the Belvedere Vodka Marquee sponsored by Temple Muse and Style House Files.

I am now on the last track ‘Aminha’ off my Afrique Lusophone mix by Africa Negra. Coming from Sao Tome Principe, I'm amazed how this song has such a strong Igbo High Life melody…anyway…Africa: 50 Years of Music is an 18-CD set of 185 recordings from 39 African countries that claims to be "the most comprehensive compilation of African music ever achieved". Each track represents each respective country’s culture, way of life and journey, to and after independence. Sometimes musical compositions are distinct to a place and other times musical undertones overlap one and other, further breaking down grand narratives of Africa being one homogeneous block. In the same vain it was beautiful to watch all designers showcase their cultures and flying their flags uniquely yet collectively.
Okunoren Twins
Africa: 50 Years of Music is also a compilation of the political climate of African nations during the independence, giving you a musical insight into the political nature, thoughts and feelings felt during the independence process. Evidently statements were being made from designers through their collections at AMFW from Buki Akib’s salute to Fela and Afro Beat, Ituen Basi’s making riding Okada (for ride or die chicas like moi) fashionable with road safety inspired Ankara helmets, Maki Oh’s innovative stunning yet environmental friendly collection, Deola Sagoe’s exceptional remembrance tribute to Japan and long live vintage inspired collections from so many like; Amine Bendriouich and the Okunoren Twins 

Angelo Von Mol
Though the box set makes for very rich, educating and interesting listening, especially if you are a music and language lover like me, I was disappointed not to hear much from Fela, and our Juju and High Life greats in the West African compilation. Likewise I was disappointed in some of the organizational aspects that could have been avoided which lead to the cancellation of Thursday’s schedule and the no shows from fashion favourites of mine. However, pulling off such a mighty show such as AMFW profiling 50 designers, a first of its kind is no walk in the park.

Bridget Awosika, Ajuma &Flaviana Matata in Bridget Awoskia

Firstly, I was pleasantly pleased to see our models fiercely walking the runway with Africa’s best in the business; Ajuma, Aminta Niaria, Aminat Ayinde, Georgie Badiel, Agbani Darego, Flaviana Matata and second time mother to be Oluchi Onweagba. Secondly, I was also impressed with the amount of hands on support being lent by Nigeria’s budding new fashion generation and Nigeria’s media and press posy all out to cover. Finally, all the early teething problems were made up for with spectacular collections being revealed by Africa’s finest to Africa’s rising star designers. The established and the up and coming stood side by side, rose to the challenge and gave their best for the world to see, sit up and take note. 

Oluchi Onweagba in Xuly Bët

We hope this is a mighty push in the right direction for Africa’s designers to continue in the same pace, to improve quality of production, widen distribution channels and in the words of This Day Chairman/CEO Mr Nduka Obaigbena “Move over Gucci, you have not seen or heard the last of us…fashion is business and not just about entertainment.” So please keep in touch, send through your look books, press releases and update us on your new collections, happenings and developments to

Congratulations to all AMFW Award Winners:

Tsemaye Binitie, Jewel by Lisa, Bunmi Koko, Kluk CGTD and Pierre-Antoine Vetterello will represent Africa at the AMFW Gala in New York on September 14th 2011 during New York Fashion Week.

Major honours went to Deola Sagoe (Nigeria), Xuly.Bët (Mali/France), Eredappa (Nigeria), Kluk CGTD (South Africa) and Sade Thomas (Nigeria) for the Lifetime Achievement Awards, whilst South African designer Kluk CDGT scooped Designer of The Year Award.

Best in Creative Designs - Ituen Basi (Nigeria)

Best in Innovative Designs - Pierre-Antoine Vettorello (Belgium/Ghana)

Menswear Designer of the Year - Angelo Von Mol (Belgium/Ghana)

The New Face of the Year – Chika (Nigeria)

The Fashion Brand of the Year - Tiffany Amber (Nigeria)

Emerging Designer of the Year - Maki Oh (Nigeria)

Young Designer of the Year - Buki Akib (Nigeria)

Style Icon of the Year - Nike Oshinowo

Model of the Year - Flaviana Matata

Stay FAB for more AMFW Reports...

1 comment:

  1. Been wondering how come I haven't stumbled on any photos of Ajak...that's actually Ajuma :-)