Mail & Guardian article: Trading on Africa
The aesthetics of the African continent will take centre stage in the forthcoming Africa Fashion Week.
Observers will get a summary of the latest styles from Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, London, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States and Zimbabwe.
Photo: AFI/K.Rossouw/AFW 2011
Under the aegis of African Fashion International (AFI), what is hoped will be Africa’s largest fashion trade expo is endorsed by South Africa Tourism, entrepreneurs, boutique buyers and other professionals. Local designers hail from our three biggest cities. Visiting from Cape Town are Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit of Kluk CGT, Tart and Stefania Morland. Swimwear designer Dax Martin is from Durban and Thula Sindi, Marianne Fassler and David Tlale are from Johannesburg.
Many of the broader global designers featured have already gained international recognition. Ghanaian label Kiki Clothing, founded by Titi Ademola, was worn by American actress Nicole Ari Parker at the Oscars this year.
New York designer LaQuan Smith started off designing custom pieces for an array of celebrities, pop-culture icons and artists, including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Sessilee Lopez and fashion personality Andre J.
Bunmi Koko, who has a Scottish-Nigerian heritage, is from London. His clothing has been worn by Michelle Obama.
The Africa Fashion Awards include the African Designer of the Year award. Nomination criteria include representation of a global African aesthetic with potential global reach.