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Inside Look at London's Africa Fashion Week


“African fashion is booming”, reported London newspaper The Metro a day ahead of Africa Fashion Week (AFWL) in London earlier this month. Showcasing the work of 60 designers, the African spectacle took place alongside the Olympics at the heart of the city’s vibrant East End with a wonderfully upbeat atmosphere to match. Jam-packed with style experts and a fashion-forward crowd, as well as the occasional tourist who happened to stumble upon the scene, the show exhibited a unique blend of seasoned and emerging talent to a crowd total of 15,000 people across the various events. Just metres from the runway where models flaunted an array of dynamic collections from across the continent stood dozens of market stalls selling everything from African-print heels and clutches to regional dishes including jollof rice — a clear crowd-pleaser. 

House of Tayo

Ronke Ademiluyi, organizer of the AFWL, said: “We’ve received plenty of positive feedback and the event has had a great impact on the perception of African culture and fashion." “People have begun to bond with the culture instead of shying away from it. A lot of people are now involved in Africa through fashion,” she added. For instance, members of the international fashion elite, including Franca Sozzani, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney have all been involved in campaigns to promote the growth of the continent’s style sector.

Jimiking Designs

Next year’s Africa Fashion Week in London is set to be bigger than before, according to its organisers, with Vlisco, the textiles manufacturing giant, reportedly interested in becoming an official sponsor. Yet amid fantastic prospects for Africa’s fashion designers, one cannot help but wonder where this industry headed and whether the destination is truly sustainable. The cornerstones of the success of ethical African fashion lie within its ability to make sustainability a mainstream concept. Once dubbed “the hopeless continent” by The Economist in 2000, Africa’s growing fashion industry looks incredibly promising. For more information on AFWL, check out their main website here.

 

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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