DOES AFRICA HAVE FASHION WEEKS?
No! Not by the construct of what we see in the fashion capitals. To date what we are experiencing on the African continent are fashion shows hosted over 2 or 3 days and at times 4 days if possible. Nevertheless, many notable events are making concrete steps towards a more illustrious idea of the concept of Fashion Weeks. To understand this one would need to fully grasp what a fashion week is.
WHAT IS A FASHION WEEK?
A Fashion week is a week of fashion festivities, where fashion creatives and more organize events and more in the fashion calendar to expose their creative works to relevant parties. This is slightly different from an event organized by an individual or one organization.
THERE ARE 4 MAIN FASHION WEEKS/CAPITALS, AND THEY ARE
New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, & Paris Fashion Week are the main fashion weeks of the world to date, and they are organized back to back with no clashes, giving international businessmen, creatives, fashion enthusiasts, and more the ability to participate in all.
BEING A PART OF INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEK IS SIMPLE
There is no special trick to exhibiting in the fashion capitals during their fashion week, anyone can pull a fashion show or get together considering they find the space and guests. There are various events, organized by various organizers, booking various models, inviting various press, etc.
However, despite there not being one organization behind the events in the international fashion weeks, there are organizations behind the scheduling of the events in the fashion weeks.
IS YOUR PARTICIPATION RELEVANT!
These organizations behind scheduling the prominent shows determine if your show is a main ‘on-show’ for the mainstream brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, etc, or an ‘off-show’ for the smaller brands. Brands that do not make the list are not recognized by these committees.
In London, this would be the British Fashion Council. In New York, this is organized by the CFDA, and so forth. These schedules are always placed on the websites and in brochures that guide their guests. Not every event executed during the main fashion weeks in the capitals are relevant.
FASHION WEEKS ARE FOR BUSINESS
One main essence of the fashion week constitutes buyer-designer relationships, hence why being on these schedules results in important parties attending your shows.
This also explains why the seasonal description of the Fashion Weeks in the west is reflective of the following season and to project clothes to outlets in the upcoming future. Another area most fashion events, designers, and blogs in Ghana fail to understand within their desperation to mimic the west.
RANKING THE BEST FASHION WEEKS IN AFRICA
This is less than 1/10 of understanding the business and eccentric dynamics behind a fashion week, however, it is the basic prelude we need to break down our ranking of the top fashion weeks in Africa.
A relevant fashion week is more than a night out with fancy Instagram posts. Having a full scope and biography of the participating brands, and how to interact with them ahead of time is one important requirement necessary to entice visitors from overseas and give them an opportunity and insight into what to expect. The inability to exhibit this, and the lack of a website automatically reduces the status of a prominent fashion event as a fashion week.
TOP FASHION WEEKS IN AFRICA
With 3 years of experience working at London Fashion Week and 10 years of documenting African fashion across the globe, we present to you the top Fashion Weeks in Africa.
Lagos Fashion Week In NigeriaLagos Fashion Week has made a strong name for itself specifically inviting notable designers from across the world to enhance its brand. The event is organized by StyleHouseFiles founded by Omoyemi Akerele. The well-organized event has run for over 10 years and has a website that gives insights to its designers. It works closely with buyers that do take an interest and a liking to participating brands. (https://lagosfashionweek.ng)
Accra Fashion Week in GhanaAccra Fashion Week is organized by our team here at FashionGHANA.com. According to google ranking, Accra Fashion Week takes place as the nation’s leading fashion week with an informative website. The event changed the narrative of fashion shows in the country with our insights into fashion weeks. Accra Fashion Week has brought emphasis to buyers as well as introduced various brands to buyers from the USA, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, and more. All designers are profiled on the website and it is now currently registered on the government’s ‘Beyond The Return’ program for tourist attractions. Accra Fashion Week also changed the narrative of emulating clothing seasons that are befitting to the west by introducing the Chilly/Rainy Season and Summer/Harmattan.
SA Fashion Week in South AfricaSA Fashion Week in South Africa has been one of the most consistent fashion weeks in the nation orchestrated twice a year and working closely with Edgars as a buyer. Lucilla Booyzen is the founder and chief executive of South African Fashion Week (SAFW). Many of the country’s breakout designers have been mentored by her and exhibited previously on the show.
Swahili Fashion Week In TanzaniaSwahili Fashion Week is mainly based (but not only) in Tanzania. The event has served as East Africa’s Largest platform for fashion and accessory designers from Swahili-speaking countries and beyond to showcase their talent, It is also coupled with an awards night and has been a ground break platform engaging designers with relevant parties. It has been running for 15 years now and was founded and created by celebrated Tanzanian couturier, Mustafa Hassanali in the year 2008.
Dakar Fashion Week In SenegalAs FashionGHANA.com, Dakar Fashion Week is one of our most loved events. Dakar Fashion Week celebrates fashion, revealing the cultural riches of Africa. Beyond the catwalk to reveal stylists, it is associated with crafts and music at these festive events. The event is now presented each year to celebrate black beauty and the emancipation of black women. It has been running for 18 years and was founded by Adama is also the founder and producer of many fashion events such as the Afrika Fashion Awards which become “African Fashion Trophies” (TMA) and Black Fashion Week Prague and more.
Kampala Fashion WeekUgandan’s most influential fashion platform, Kampala Fashion Week (KFW) promotes Ugandan designers and Fashion designers around the continent to a large global market. The organization was created to support and strengthen the design industry in Uganda as well as to enhance the cultural and creative talent that our country and continent have to offer.
Hub Of Africa Fashion Week In EthiopiaHub of Africa Fashion Week (HAFW) is a very impressive and consistent event that is organized in the horn of Africa, Ethiopia. The event was created with the understanding that there is a need for an event that can highlight the growing talent of African designers and brands to the international market. It was founded by Mahlet Teklemariam and has been running as an annual event since 2010.
Africa Fashion Week NigeriaAfrica Fashion Week Nigeria is one that should never be overlooked. The event was founded by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, and Ayo Olugbade, chief executive officer of LFF, have continued to entertain their Nigerian audience with dynamic and creative shows all whilst linking them to their expose in London at Africa Fashion Week London.
AFI Fashion WeekJoburg Fashion Week and Cape Town Fashion Week were once operating on a very established level, however, the event took a hit ever since the Mercedez Benz organization pulled out with the sponsorship. Nevertheless, the event organized by African Fashion International soon became AFI Fashion Week and is still being organized at a very professional and quality level with renowned designers from South Africa involved.
Other Notable Events
Despite the eccentric dynamics of a fashion week, there is much more to enjoy from fashion events in Africa. Some with international celebrities, some with more fancy antics on stage, and what have you. Other notable events are GT Bank Fashion Week, Fashion Weekend Gambia, Glitz Africa Fashion Week, Fima, Fimo228, Fashion Without Borders and much more. Although some may not have any online platform to delve into the showcasing brands or seek buyers or many of the other eccentric attributes of fashion weeks, some are heavily funded and very entertaining.
Also, feel free to read our previous blogs on fashion weeks over the years…
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UPCOMING TOP EVENTS!
Ghana’s leading fashion event Accra Fashion Week is scheduled for 7-11 December 2022 following their 5th-year celebration last year in 2021. Accra Fashion Week is a platform for African designers that can be compared to fashion weeks across the major capitals. It aims to fill the void which sees tremendous creativity and culture across the continent with the absence of an operating fashion infrastructure.
The epic event took place at Ghana Dubai in Accra, and saw models march down the steps from the Kwame Nkrumah Monument whilst being followed by a spotlight, before circulating the central fountains. Memories of the exciting night still give chills as guests revisit the experience on youtube.
However, rest assured that 2022 is going to be even more exciting with greater performances and an upgraded designer collection. FashionGHANA.com is sure to bring you the exclusives we did on www.FashionGHANA.com/TV. All last year’s shows are available to watch on youtube. Designer’s registration is ongoing on the AccraFashionWeek.org website.
As we embark on another year of celebrating African culture, our theme for 2022 is “Afrofuturism.” This term was created to explore the developing intersection of cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history as it relates to the African Diaspora. During this year’s events, Afrochella will bring “Afrofuturism” to life through fashion, food, art and music. In 2019, the African Diaspora returned home to the continent for the “Year of Return.” This year, we will explore the endless possibilities of what “Afrofuturism” could look like in 2022 and beyond.
Afro Nation is a brand new music festival, offering a lineup packed with talent from the worlds of Afrobeats, hip hop, R&B and dancehall
Afro Nation will bring together the best artists in afrobeats, hip hop, r&b, dancehall and bashment. Expect world-class programming of live performances and DJs.
#AfroNation is an all-inclusive music and arts festival meant to celebrate and eulogize African culture across various continents, not just Africa.
DIRECTION COLLECTION: OUT NOW!
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