By Babirye Aidha
Africa Fashion Week arrived in London and kicked off on August 7th at the Kensington Olympia. The two day event brought designers from various countries in Africa and the African Diaspora to a global audience.
Since it started in 2011, AFWL has hosted four catwalk events and showcased over 300 designers to almost 45,000 visitors including buyers, retailers and other industry professionals; and its open-to-the-public events has become a strong contender of the must-attend annual fashion events of the year.
Celebrating its 5th year anniversary of promoting and showcasing Africa’s finest and best talent, Africa Fashion Week London is growing stronger as Europe’s largest catwalk event of African and African-inspired fashion design and has become an important platform for recognition of seasoned designers of the African diaspora, as well as promoting upcoming designers who have what it takes in terms of talent and creativity and exploring the expansive diversity that African fashion has to offer.
The 2015 Edition had over 40 of the very best of Africa’s emerging designers such as Kwazulu Natal Fashion Council (KZNFC), all the way from South Africa with 20 exhibitors and Amy Ku of AIMEE KU Fashion Label who flew in from Taipei City especially to highlight how African prints are becoming increasingly popular in Asia; and a whole host of independent retailers showcasing their most accomplished work.
It was an affair of brilliant African Fashion, culture, prints, color, glamour and glitz, food, fun, laughter, live performances, music and celebrating all things African.
Designers took to the catwalk to dazzle us with their talent and creativity. From the 40’s style midis, the 60’s inspired retro and hippie shapes, to the 80’s party girl style; from eye-popping zingy brights to rich vibrant prints; from statement shoulders to bold headgear; from cover ups to the dare-to-bare; this years’ fashion was nothing short of innovative, tantalizing, breath-taking, fun, flirty and playful with combinations of cross-cultural influences transcending time and borders.
I was there to soak up the style scene and to bring you all the highlights from the catwalk and some of my favorite looks.
Babirye Aidha is a fashion enthusiast based in London, UK. Follow her on Instagram.