ON THE RUNWAY TO SUCCESS
Africa’s top designers are set to showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa 2014
Over 30 of Africa’s foremost established and emerging designers will converge on Melrose Arch, Johannesburg to present their latest collections in the continent’s premier trans-seasonal fashion showcase, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa 2014, in 16 shows over four days from 29 October to 1 November.
Organiser and leading fashion authority, African Fashion International (AFI) has unveiled an extraordinary line-up of sartorial talent from all over Africa – including Cameroon, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire – set to showcase under this year’s theme, “Our Heritage Re-imagined”.
“This year, we celebrate how far African fashion has come by bringing together the best design talent from the continent and its diaspora, who are both rooted in their African identity and reinterpreting it in an internationally relevant way. This will be powerfully reflected in the eclecticism, originality and spontaneity of all the collections on display,” says AFI Group Marketing Manager, Sizwe Nzimande.
The first day of MBFWAfrica will present exciting collections from renowned labels, Kibonen (Cameroon), Intisaar (Zimbabwe), Mille Collines (Rwanda & Kenya) and Taibo Bacar (Mozambique). The ELLE Rising Star 2014 show will see finalists – Chris Dawson, Tamara Cherie Dyson, Frances Pauls, Kelli Botha, Nadia Viljoen, Jeandri Britz and Michelle van der Westhuizen – compete for the coveted accolade and the chance to design a capsule collection for retail clothing chain, Mr Price.
Day Two will bring striking collections from sartorial stars, Tina Lobondi (DRC); Marianne Fassler and Spero Villioti (South Africa); Josh & Nicol and one of Africa’s preeminent menswear designers, Mai Atafo (Nigeria) to the MBFWAfrica runway.
The third day will be a truly cross-continental affair with Sheria Ngowi, John Kaveke and KikoRomeo, Carducci, Christie Brown, Loza Maleombho, and Ituen Basi – from Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria respectively – set to bring their newest designs to the ramp.
The showcase will close out in style on Day Four, beginning with the much-anticipated capsule collections of the AFI Fastrack™ winners – Rich Mnisi, Jessica Ross, Nazneen Kagee and Tuelo Nguyuza – who will vie for the title of AFI Young Designer of the Year. Thereafter, the City of Tshwane Presents Show will bring designs from Archiebald Monyepao, Dennis Maponya & Neville Masondo to the ramp.
Finally, Murade (Mozambique), Nana Brenu (Ghana), Laurence Airline (Cote d’Ivoire) and David Tlale (South Africa) will unveil their latest collections and bring MBFWAfrica 2014 to an elegant conclusion.
“Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa was the first fashion podium to draw the best of design from the continent and African diaspora. This unprecedented event has finally turned the international spotlight onto local designers – recognising them as more than dressmakers and celebrating them as trendsetters” adds Nzimade.
Meanwhile, Melrose Arch’s status as Africa’s fashion headquarters will be further cemented when The African Fashion Trade Expo (AFTE) – running concurrently with MBFWAfrica 2014 – presents Africa’s latest brands and trends while providing invaluable networking opportunities to buyers, consumers, media and other fashion followers.
Finally, African Fashion’s finest will be recognised in a glittering ceremony at the prestigious, annual African Fashion Awards on 2 November.
African Fashion International (AFI) presents African fashion and creative talent in a manner that makes fashion from the continent globally relevant and ensures that the world has market access to African product and design. Through the organisation’s promotion, curation and support services, AFI ensures that the international community responds positively and commercially to African-designed products that are readily available, unique and on-trend.
Through its Fashion Weeks, namely Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg A/W, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town S/S and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa (trans-seasonal), AFI showcases the best designers from the continent, offering them access to the domestic and international markets, while also growing a platform meant to support the sustainability of the African fashion industry through job creation. AFI also remains committed to growing a new legion of designers through the AFI Fastrack™ programme.