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Each year, fashion designers, dignitaries, ambassadors and the world’s top media houses gather for the Africa Fashion Reception, and this year was not an exception. With the strong and proud theme ‘Africa is the New Inspiration of Global Fashion’, the AFR event – which is really more than an event – called on Africans from across the continent and the diaspora to patronize and wear clothes, fashion accessories, beauty and lifestyle products locally produced in Africa. This is aimed at liberating the continent from poverty.

The World Fashion Organization in collaboration with Legendary Gold Ltd saw the need for African designs, prints, patterns, colours and embellishments and styles to be put on the center spread of world fashion platforms in order to boost the continent’s development potentials – so they created the African Fashion Reception in 2013.

The African Union Commission hosted the 4th African edition of the fashion event, in its headquarters in Addis Ababa few days ago, with various African countries showcasing designs in celebration of cultural diversity through the artistic fashion discipline.

Runway picture from Africa Fashion Reception 2018

In attendance were global fashion influencers, buyers from top clothing lines, CEOs, model scouts, model agencies, designers, dignitaries, ambassadors and media from over 30 African countries.

The event had hundreds of select guests in attendance. Important personalities such as the deputy chairperson of the AUC, Quesi Quartey was present; so was Her Excellency, Mrs Amira Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union, who delivered the welcome address. Chief Executive Officer of Legendary Gold Limited, co-organisers of the Africa Fashion Reception, Lexy Mojo Eyes also delivered a speech wherein he listed the aims and objectives of the event.

  • To build bridges by creating free trade and partnerships among fashion practitioners throughout the African continent
  • To attract global attention to Africa’s very rich and diversified dress culture which can be explored as a catalyst for the social economic growth of the continent’s garment/textile industry.
  • To expand the potential power of fashion as a tool of fighting poverty in Africa by creating wealth through the empowerment of women and youths in the various fashion vocations through training, capacity building schemes, workshops and setting up of medium/small scale businesses, thereby supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063.
  • To bring about self-reliance, as this initiative will create millions of jobs across the continent for tailors, creative directors, textile designers, models, cutters, pressers, fashion photographers & writers, hair stylists, make-up artists etc.
  • To contribute in bringing the much-desired peace and stability to our continent by positively engaging the youths as stated above.

As is the norm, only one designer from participating countries is nominated by the executive board of the Africa Fashion Reception to represent and showcase designs from their countries.

One of the other activities that take place during the Africa Fashion Reception is the Africa Fashion Business Summit (AFBS). Keynote speaker for the AFBS was the world renowned fashion consultant, Anton Dell, spoke ‘Best Export Practice – 100% Practical Guide on Selling African Fashion Successfully in the Global Market.’

Some of the participating designers include Hava from Angola, Forest Spirit from Cameroon, Broe Creation from DR Congo, Niamien from Cote d’Ivoire, Ejig from Ethiopia, Skyfall Creation from Kenya, Signature Secret Africa from Nigeria, Thabo Makhetha from South Africa, Kokonut Stylist from Swaziland, Bobbin Case Clothing from Uganda, TZM from Zimbabwe and so on.

On completion of the African edition of AFR, all roads now lead to Paris for the AFR global edition which will be taking place on the 4th of November, 2017.


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