Photo by Sonovisuals.
Inside the Private Dinner That Closed Out Alára’s Africa Fashion Pop-Up
Held at New York’s Brooklyn Museum, the dinner took guests on an African culinary experience, in partnership with CÎROC.
Alára, the widely-hailed, Lagos-based concept store, collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum to install a pop-up shop at the Africa Fashion Exhibition. The exhibit, which opened to the public on June 23, was a never-seen-before, curatorial presentation in America. It was expanding on the footprint of the landmark, debuting the same showcase at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum last year.
Alára took its homegrown manifesto on championing African fashion and creativity to a broader audience, using a pop-up outlet as its first international satellite. Foregrounding contemporary African perspectives on fashion and style, and merging retail experience with African diaspora connections in New York, the exhibit shop featured products from 100 brands, including U.S.-based designers and those within the African diaspora.
Now, the long-running exhibit has come to an end, capping off the pop-up as well. As such, an intimate dinner was held at The Norm, Brooklyn Museum, celebrating African cuisine and culture while creating an unforgettable atmosphere that fostered meaningful conversations and connections.
“With my deepest gratitude, we draw the curtains on this season,” said Mrs. Reni Folawiyo, founder and style director of Alara, “Yet, in closing one chapter, we embark on writing the next. Our mission at Alára has always been to champion and reveal the magnificence of African art, fashion, design, and we will continue to push the boundaries for the diaspora to beyond.”
“I’m honored to be a part of it and excited for what more will come out of it,” said Alexander-Julian Gibbson, the curator and creative director.
Guests and other cultural tastemakers in attendance included Creative Director of Puma, June Ambrose, GQStyle’s Fashion Director, Mobolaji Dawodu, Ebony’s Editor-in-Chief, Marielle Bobo, designer Tia Adeola, RocNation’s Briant Biggs, The Cut’s Style Director, Jessica Willis, Paramount’s Sharita Peterson and many more.
Chef Serigne Mbaye prepared an early fall menu with gulf shrimp, kaluga caviar, okra, seafood, jollof rice and followed by a thiakry pie with pecan and ice cream for dessert. CÎROC and Crown Royal provided signature cocktails.
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