From March 30th to April 2nd at the Lagos Continental Hotel (formerly known as Intercontinental Hotel). Arguably the most exclusive fashion show to hold in Nigeria, took place. You see, the ARISE Fashion Week 2018 runway kicked off on Friday with a meet and greet session with supermodel Naomi Campbell who is the headliner of the fashion event. The organizers and other stakeholders hosted the press who met with fashion designers showing their designs as well as with top stylists, models and fashion lovers in an afternoon of cocktails and canapes to reveal the full event schedule.
Day 1 featured styles from Canadian designer, Aurora James, the UK’s very own singer and performer, Nigerian-born Tinnie Tempah, celebrated Tanzanian designer, Mustafa Hassanali, Orapeleng Modutle and KLûK CGDT, both from South Africa. KLûK CGDT has participated in every ARISE show.
Day 2 highlighted designers offering luxurious and unique styles. From Germany, Sarah Duah featured on the catwalk, along with Koki Kamala from Botswana, Amine Bendriouich from Morocco, and South African-born designer and ARISE original, Gavin Rajah who regularly shows at the Paris Fashion Week.
British supermodel Naomi Campbell displays an outfit by Nigeria designer Lanre Da Silva Ajayi during the ARISE Fashion Week event in Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Also, Nigeria featured some of its best in Grey, Abaya Lagos, Taryor Gabriel, Ilare, House of Divas, Lagos, Ziva, Lagos, Tzar, Kimono Kollection, Mai Atafo, Tsemaye Binitie, Jewel by Lisa, Yutee Rone, Mustafa Hassanali , Imad Esuso and Tiffany Amber.
To round off the show, day 3 of AFW 2018, Ghanaian-British fashion designer, Ozwald Boateng, most known for the transformational impact he’s had on menswear fashion for almost three decades was around to show off his impeccable collection..
The day will also display designs from South African designers Maxhosa by Laduma, Rich Mnisi and Lakhanyo Midingi, while Nigerian icons will include Moofa, Dzyn, House of Nwocha, Maxivive, Sunny Rose, Tokyo James, Maki Oh, Gozel Green, Bridget Awosika, Ere Dappa, Odion Mimonet and Deola Sagoe.
Men fashion which dominated activities that lined up the second day of the star-studded event was redefined on the runway of Arise Fashion Week as Kimono Kollection showcased well cut ppieces, featuring handsome ex Big Brother Naija housemate, Leo DaSilva.
Nigerian top model Oluchi Orlandi and Nollywood actor Richard Mofe-Damijo were also among the models who walked the runway on the second day of the Arise Fashion Week, wearing remarkable pieces of South African luxury fashion brand Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue, and Taryor Gabriels, a Lagos-based fashion design. Taryor elevated the men’s fashion with his unique suits, jackets and senator outfits. Dressed in an embroidered Agbada with a red priest cloak draped over his shoulders, Mofe-Damijo walked the runway like a king. Although his steps were a bit fast-paced, the theatrical display fetched him a loud ovation. the Nigerian model who was catapulted into the international scene after winning the M-Net Face of Africa in 1998, Oluchi, reminded us why she won as she strutted the runway in a gorgeous black dress, eliciting applause from the audience. Oluchi who is based in New York is one of the main highlights of the Arise Fashion Week, alongside international supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Making her debut in the Arise Fashion Week is Funke Adepoju of Phunk Afrique. She brought glow and frills on the runway, with most of her creations showcasing dance and movement.
Nigerian musician Seyi Shay provided the music and entertainment for the night.
The second day of the Arise Fashion Week also saw other designers like among others.
The show on the opening day kicked off showcasing Vonne Couture, owned by the Lagos based fashion designer Yvonne Nwosu. Her collection-brightly coloured apparels with floral patterns.
Latasha Ngwugbe brought a different thrill to the runway with her label: About that Curvy Life, she celebrated big women who are rarely presented the opportunity to walk the runway.
She took a bold step by dressing the models in edgy and sheer garments which spoke volumes of their confidence. Jumpsuits, kimonos, lacy sequined gowns, the models cheered by the crowd walked on.
“It’s a good approach to the fashion industry, particularly for African women who are not really skinny. It’s a bold statement that we are diverse and look nice,” said Uzo, one of the models who is also a chef.
Abaya Lagos, a fashion brand that serves as the melting pot of Asian/Arabian fashion, also dazzled the audience with its cosmopolitan styles of Abayas and kaftans, accentuated by turbans and sunshades.
Arguably adjudged the most beautiful runway in Africa, Arise Fashion Week is poised to celebrate the most iconic fashion designers in the continent as well as in the diaspora.Forty Five designers from 12 to 14 countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Germany, Canada, France, Morocco, the United Kingdom, United States, the Caribbean and Nigeria were all well represented.