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The second edition Africa Fashion Week London has concluded two days of celebration of African fashion right in the heart of London, London Spitalfields Market on 3-4 August, 2012.
With over 20,000 guests visiting the venue over two days, Africa Fashion Week London established its aim of not only showcasing the beauty and diversity of African fashion to an international audience but also building on the popularity of the first edition last year which attracted 4,700 guests.
“Overall the event was a huge success. Like any other event, there were challenges along the way, but we had a great team and we had a lot of positive feedback. We are already looking forward to Africa Fashion Week London 2013 which we aim to make bigger and better,” said Ronke Ademiluyi, the founder and CEO of Africa Fashion Week London.
Amongst the designers showcasing on Friday, 3 August, the winners of Comic Relief See Africa Differently competition, Senegal’s Bull Doff, Nigeria’s House of Nwocha, House of Jola proved some of the stellar names of the runway. While the styling incorporating plastic bags on the TY-TYS, Taye Taylor’s Olympic touch and Kemunto’s seamless blend of Kenya and Scotland in maxi dresses wowed the audience, Ella & Gabby’s bejeweled print dresses, Wangu Jeans made for curvier silhouettes, Keto Couture’s grand bespoke evening-wear and Patience Please’s African inspired lingerie made Friday’s gala night a fashion affair to remember.
The second day saw playful designs by up and coming designers of African descent, Uber Collective, UK-based Ghanaian designer House of Adjeiwaah, Kenya’s Afro Fanatic and UK-based Nigerian milliner Lyze Hats. House of Farrah showcasing at the only solo show of the two-day event presented a 40-piece collection of evening-wear. Without a doubt, the highlight of AFWL was the gala show with evening-wear by UK-based Nigerian designer George Adesegun, Ghana’s Brigitte Merki alongside more laid-back designs by Jimi king and edgy styles by Remi Lagos. Other designers in the gala show included Ghanaian jeweler Joansu, Nigeria’s House of Bunor, Rwanda’s House of Tayo, MMD Design, Berry’s Couture.
While the hair provided by Mizani and make up by Bobbi Brown were kept simple on day 1 with on-trend messy up-dos complementing a natural colour palette, on day 2 both hair and make up were revved up to match the grand looks on the runway.
Closing the gala show was none other than the renowned Nigerian couturier Adebayo Jones who dazzled the audience with a brand new collection as part of a celebration of his 25 years in fashion which lived up to the designer’s motto ‘All that glitters is AJ’ with liquid gold evening-wear.
The grand finale came with performances by Iman Entertainment’s Eva, Rukus and eLDee whose label mates Sojay, K9 and Sheyman performed on Friday on the Green Mamba runway.
On the front row were distinguished VIP guests alongside the glamorous patron of AFWL 2012 Erelu Bisi Fayemi, First Lady of Ekiti State and Ambassador Ghanaian model, actress, philanthropist and the new face of Printex Menaye Donkor-Muntari alongside Nigerian celebrity blogger Linda Ikeji, not forgetting Funmi Iyanda as well as numerous UK and Nigerian press and buyers. UK artists of African descent Ghana’s Wanlov Kubolor and The Noisettes lead singer Shingai Shoniwa sporting a Katherine Elizabeth hat and one of her own designs also paid a visit to AFWL.
The exhibition also proved successful with over 60 vendors bringing the colours, textures and tastes of Africa to a global audience in the market hall of New Spitalfields where visitors could purchase African-inspired accessories, clothes, home-ware, jewellery while sampling Congolese, Nigerian, South African and Zimbabwean cuisine.
The event was covered by international press including journalists from Nigeria, Ghana, Israel, China as well as event partners OH TV, VOX Africa, Factory 78 and FAB Magazine amongst others.
Africa Fashion Week London aims to be back in London with a third edition in 2013 and continue to provide a global platform for all African and African inspired designers to showcase their work to an international audience.