London Calling: Africa Fashion Week 2015

Africa Fashion Week 2015 swooped into London in the first week of August, and for two days the capital was awash with boldly printed patterns, and vibrant colour at every turn.

 

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Now in its fifth year, Africa Fashion Week serves to promote the very best of Africa’s emerging designers and share African-inspired trends with the world. In five years they have shown over 300 designers from all over Africa. For me, the event was inspiring.

I’d been meaning to go for a while and this year my sister was in town from Nigeria, so I took her with me. We went with no expectations, but as a lover of fashion and of Africa (I’m half Nigerian), I was excited to support and explore the event with my full attention.

Africa Fashion Week London took place over two days at the Kensington Olympia and catered to women’s fashion over menswear, which was a missed opportunity, really. There were six different runway shows throughout the event (we only saw one),  but I’d seen some incredible pictures from some of the other collections, and I wish I had seen them all.

Away from the catwalk there was a pop-up market brimming with African fashion shorts, skirts, trousers, jackets, silks and shoes, and loads of accessories (never too many. Never, ever).

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With my sister usually based in Nigeria, I was interested to hear what she thought of the event – we both noticed that the busiest stalls were selling Ankara print – not the most popular for high-end fashion in Nigeria, yet hugely popular with big name designers.

As Africa Fashion Week London continues to grow, my hope is that it eventually garners the support of the wider London fashion world so that the two can clash in a stunningly colourful cultural explosion!


 

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by Natalie Ogene, London

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