African Fashion Collective 2009

I'm not superstitious but it was very odd that absolutely nothing I planned went to plan on Friday 13th, It wasn't the best day I've had (very odd!). Evidently for some, it was a very good day. Sponsored by THISDAY newspaper and tieing in with the U.S launch of ARISE Magazine the African Fashion Collective 2009 was a perfectly timed showcase. NY Fashion Week couldn't have been a better location or market to bring the spotlight on African fashion. The video comes courtesy of the Hilary Alexander & Co at The Daily Telegraph TV. Bear with the Burberry ad at the start of the video and advance apologies for the over use of exclamation marks and wow's in this but this whole event is tres exciting! not just because of the creditability it brings to African design.

Rather than the African influence being a Spring/ Summer design trend four African labels, Stoned Cherrie by South African designer Nkhensani Nkosi, Xuly Bet by Malian designer, look out for the Obama t-shirt dresses, Lamine Badian Kouyate and Nigerian labels Tiffany Amber by Folake Coker and Momo by Fati Asibelua had the support of celebrity models including the grand mama of music Grace (she'll be 61 in a few months, wow!!) Jones, Tyson Beckford, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede, Oluchi Onweagba, the host of West Africa's Next Top Model, I'm a huge fan of ANTM.. so WANTM has to be another wow! It reminds of the conversation I had with Memsor a while back about black girls in the model industry, what would asprining black models have done without Tyra Banks and Bankable Productions.

These four designers have taken the tentative steps of representing themselves in the international market. Expectation will be high New York Times, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal were front row critics. The success at any fashion week will be its ability to translate the initial spectacle into top notch production, continued promotion and the all important sales for the designer to establish a presence outside of their home country. But maybe that's not the point, maybe that would be the icing on the cake. As a tool to draw attention to high quality contemporary African design and the knock on effect it may have on local economies African Fashion Collective 2009 is a spring board opportunity. I'm baised but I'd suggest having a look at the coverage of Google its getting an amazing response from the media.

On the African Fashion Collective Memsor says .. “I have never seen an event like this. It makes me really proud,” says Kamarake, whose parents hail from Sierra Leone. “There’s another side of Africa being showcased. You saw the magazine, which looks brilliant and the production value of the show itself. But it comes down to the clothes. And it’s great to see African influences in clothes that wouldn’t look out of place on the Via Napoleone in Milan or the Champs-Elysées in Paris.”

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