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Africa Fashion Week New York 2014 In Photos

Okayafrica recaps Africa Fashion Week New York (AFWNY) 2014 during New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.

The fifth annual Africa Fashion Week New York 2014 joined the New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 calendar this year with a 3 day event showcasing rising African designers. Hosted at the United Nations Foundation building, the first day kickstarted AFWNY with a "Master Class: Off The Runway" conference. Guest speakers consisted of prominent, established designers and leaders who shared their journeys of triumphs and hardships in the global fashion industry. South African fashion designer David Tlale was among the list of speakers. He advised young designers to be proud of their African heritage. "Don't be afraid to trade with your name. Having a self-titled brand will push you harder, and make your brand more important to you," he expressed before showcasing his own SS15 collection Sunday at Lincoln Center's Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week.


Showroom presentations followed the conference at the Vogt Gallery for Day 2 of AFWNY. Models were perched on cubed platforms showcasing works by designers Eki Orleans, Weiz Dhurm Franklyn, Dahil Republic of Couture Fashion House, Morocco Caftan New York, and Tiagbe of Kososhi all in preparation for Saturday's main event.

Saturday's runway show highlighted the diaspora's young African designers and emerging luxury African brands. Public relations and communications firm, Adirée successfully illustrated through their Africa Fashion Week New York 2014 events the capacity for transnational economic partnership among artists of the diaspora, bringing together photographers, journalists, designers, models and make-up artists from around the world. See the gallery above for photos from the full weekend.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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