Africa on the Catwalk
A fashion show in collaboration with creative director and show producer Ola Shobowale of infinite beauty factory and Sabrina Henry, fashion director at Arise Magazine showcase six, talented designers who originate from the continent or are inspired by its rich cultural heritage.
African fashion has somewhat seen a renaissance of late with well-known, global brands borrowing concepts, designs and energy from the colourful continent to inspire their SS12 collections up and down catwalks in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Africa on the Catwalk brings you a few designers who live and breathe the culture and are at the forefront of showing the world the many creative takes on a continent and its culture that is varied, exciting and life defining.
Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 1:30pm as part of the month- long Africa Etopia festival in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall. The show incorporated six, talented designers who originate from the continent or are inspired by its rich cultural heritage as part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World with MasterCard. This four month festival includes inspirational projects from the UK and around the world that showcase the power of how the arts changes lives of individuals, communities and whole societies. See more including pictures from show.
Kezia Frederick is a London based fashion and textile designer, specializing in silk screening and digital print. Being of mixed heritage British and St. Lucian, Kezia is interested in relaying this fusion of cultures in her work by continually exploring the theme of ‘dual heritage.’ A Central Saint Martin’s graduate of Fashion Print it allowed her to express her creativity through designing and printing her own fabrics and clothing.
Models for Kezia Frederick jewellery designer Joansu. (Top 3 images courtesy of Rob Sheppard)
Already seen on Eku Edewor earlier this year during Arise Fashion Week
Having worked with Jeremy Scott in LA, Suno in New York, Zandra Rhodes and Goodhood in London she is hoping to officially launch her own brand in 2012, specialising in unique and limited printed pieces. Since graduating she has shown her AW12 collection at the recent Arise Magazine Fashion Week 2012 in Lagos. Her debut collection was greatly influenced by the mesh of London cultures especially Nigerian.
Bestow Elan (Ghana/UK) The designer behind this label; Erzumah Ackerson; is a former London College of Fashion graduate and assistant to fashion designer; Jonathon Saunders. She draws her inspiration from both classic and vintage stimuli, as well as influences from her Ghanaian heritage. Her garments are often described as timeless, feminine and chic. Having showcased at the V&A museum, La Geneve North, the much coveted Arise Magazine fashion week in Lagos, Nigeria and featured in Grazia Magazine, US based lifestyle website Clutch Magazine and Africa’s largest TV network Studio 53. Bestow Elan is quickly rising as one of the UK’s and Ghana’s prominent fashion stars.
Models for Bestow Elan wear shoes by MO SAÏQUE shoes (Ghana/UK) MO SAÏQUE was created in 2010 by former banker; Afua Dabanka who was born and raised in Germany to Ghanaian parents who were both doctors. Key to the design philosophy is a bold, androgynous sense of style with classic, feminine German silhouettes that beautifully show the interesting mix of Afua’s influences. Her love affair with shoes started as a young girl; in 2006, Afua took her first course in footwear design at the London College of Fashion and the rest, they say; is history. MO SAÏQUE has been seen on the red carpets at the Cannes Film Festival, F1 Amber Lounge Fashion Show in Monaco, the V&A Museum Afropolitan Fashion Show and the Vertu Vogue Festival in London. Most recently, MO SAÏQUE heels were the first choice of Noisettes leading lady, Shingai Shoniwa for her promotional shoot for the Noisettes new single; ‘Winner’; in time for the London 2012 Olympics.
Do you remember when Helen Jennings Editor of Arise told us in our New Year post this is the brand being trumpeted as the African Louboutin see here
Chichia London (Tanzania/UK) London based designer Christine Mhando a graduate from Kent University launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, Chichia in 2007 and has been recognised as an international African designer who modernises and transforms traditional illustrative East African textiles into stylish and considered fashionable women’s wear. Tanzanian-born Mhando, created a ready-to-wear range that is an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was raised. The label’s signature transpires from the artful application of the ‘Khanga’; a traditional east African, cotton printed fabric used by local women as wraps. Each collection consists of an eclectic range of dresses and separates in modern wearable silhouettes and styles in a variety of succulent colours. Chichia’s intelligent use of eye-catching colourful prints in natural fabrics intermixed with beautiful embellishments and intricate detailing makes every piece uniquely innovative and a timeless addition to anyone’s wardrobe. The brand has been shown during London Fashion Week (off-schedule) in 2008 and 2009, Swahili Fashion week, 2009 and 2010, and ARISE Magazine fashion week, 2011.
Models wear bags by Nigerian designers Ugos Boutique ( all images courtesy of Rob Sheppard)
Eki Orleans (Nigeria/UK) A self-taught designer and the creative force behind the brand; Hazel Aggrey-Orleans was born in Germany, raised in Nigeria and educated in London where she currently resides. This diverse mix of cultures has strongly influenced Hazel’s design aesthetic as she draws inspiration from all of her cultural experiences, but the most notable from her West African heritage. This forms the foundation of her brand’s identity and spirit, which are vivacity, elegance and sophistication. In Nigeria, the name ‘Eki’ means ‘centre of attraction’ which is a natural consequence of wearing an Eki Orleans creation. Hazel’s fondness of West African Prints has made her reinterpret the traditional designs that are typically printed on cotton, to create more unique prints on silk fabric. The result is a design aesthetic that appeals to the international market.
Models for Eki Orelans wear MO SAÏQUE shoes. (All images courtesy of Rob Sheppard)