The Journey So Far…
Africa’s most dominant and dazzling runway platform, ARISE Fashion Week, has over the years, exported and showcased the best of African Music and Fashion Talents to the world. Till date, the AFW is one of the most sought after platforms for designers of worth and also upcoming and emerging ones because the platform has launched many careers and catapulted them to the global stage. Many great talents are still being discovered and exported through the ARISE platform.
The last edition ARISE 30 Under 30, was done virtually and aired on ARISE TV. Since 2018, World renowned Naomi Campbell has partnered with ARISE Fashion Week and learnt her name to its desire to change the African narrative. She herself has graced the ARISE catwalk several times over the last few years and her presence has had the desired global impact. In 2020, Anna Wintour gave a resounding speech on the role ARISE has played in the fashion industry thus far.
Aside from this, AFW has hosted global leaders in the fashion industry and showcased leading global artistes who have added a lot of pomp and pageantry to every single event. AFW remains a top rated event and continues to raise the bar in showcasing African talent. The forthcoming ARISE Fashion Week will take place in Dubai at the Dubai Expo 2020. It promises to be the event of all events of which Style will definitely keep you posted with a vast array of pictures.
For now, THISDAY Style takes a trip down memory lane to regale with a blast from the past on our journey so far. Funke Babs-Kufeji, Konye Nwabogor and Isioma Usiade reports.
THISDAY MUSIC AND FASHION FESTIVAL: AFRICA RISING JULY, AUGUST & OCTOBER 2008.
2008 was the year of the legends. THISDAY Music and Fashion Festival,” Africa Rising”, as it was called before it became ARISE Fashion Week, was a series of music and fashion shows across the globe promoting Africa and African fashion to the world. The shows took place in Lagos/Abuja in July 2008, Washington DC in August 2008 and London in October 2008. It featured music artistes like Usher, Jay-z, Rihanna, Mary J- Blige, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Fat-Joe and 9ice alongside fashion from Chris Aire, Oswald Boateng and Deola Sagoe in Lagos and Abuja. Youssou Ndour, John legend and Jay-Z performed in Washington DC at the Kennedy Centre with fashion from Momo Couture.Finally, in London at the Royal Albert Hall, the THISDAY Music and Fashion Festival Africa Rising show came to a close with Seal, Christiana Aguilera, Eldee, and Olu maintain performing alongside a show-stopping fashion show from Nigeria’s best designers Deola Sagoe, Lisa Folawiyo’s Jewel by Lisa, Lanre Dasilva-Ajayi & Fati Asibelua’s MOMO Couture. THISDAY also took this opportunity to launch its new glossy international publication, ARISE Magazine which birthed the name, ARISE Fashion Week.
ARISE AFRICA FASHION WEEK 2009 JOHANNESBURG (SOUTH AFRICA)
In 2009, ARISE Fashion Week teamed up with Africa Fashion International organizers of the Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban Fashion week in a five-year sponsorship to celebrate African’s achievement in fashion and showcase African talent to the world. The show, which was then called ARISE Africa Fashion Week from the 12th to 20th June 2009, showcased 48 of the best African fashion designers from 20 countries at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Sandton Centre Convention Centre became the hub of fashion collections, exhibitions, trade, and entertainment in those nine days. Designers like Lanre Dasilva-Ajayi, Lisa Folawiyo, Ituen Basi, David Tlale, Kluk CGDT were some talents that displayed their designs on the runway. Top models like Millen Magese, Oluchi Onweagba, Ajuma Nasanyaa, Warebi Martha and Bisi Sowemimo added glamour to the runway that year.
The 2009 ARISE African Cape Town Fashion Week took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 20th to 23rd August 2009. Though it was a smaller show than the one held in Johannesburg, designers from all over Africa were able to display their talent once again to the world.
The ARISE Africa Fashion week ended with the inaugural ARISE Africa Fashion awards. Tiffany Amber of Nigeria and David Tlale of South Africa walked away with the joint top prize of Designer of the Year Awards. The ARISE Emerging Designer of the Year was given to Christie Brown of Ghana, and the ARISE Innovation in Fashion Award went to Ituen Basi from Nigeria.
Designer Heni from Johannesburg won the ARISE Most Promising Designer of the Year award jointly with Eyola from Nigeria. The ARISE Award for Fashion Creative went to Suzaan Heyns and AngloGold Ashanti for their work on the impressive gold jewelry range for L’or d’Afrique by Auditions. And the ARISE Red Carpet Fashion Award went to masters of the evening gown, Klûk CGDT, based out of Cape Town. Models also got acknowledged for their work. Oluchi Onweagba won the ARISE International Model of the Year, and Kenyan Ajuma Nasanyana took home the ARISE Africa fashion Model award.
ARISE AFRICA FASHION COLLECTIVE FALL l & ARISE AFRICA PROMISE COLLECTIVE 2009
This show was the inaugural ARISE Africa Fashion show at NYFW in February of 2009. Models like Grace Jones walked alongside Liya Kebede, Alek Wek, Lara Stone, Tyson Beckford and Behati Prinsloo, wearing creations by XULY Bët from Mali, Stoned Cherrie, Tiffany Amber and Momo from Nigeria. Solange Knowles also performed at the after party at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
ARISE AFRICA FASHION COLLECTIVE II “THE PROMISE OF AFRICA”.
Riding on the success of February’s inaugural launch, which culminated in a surprise appearance from international superstar Grace Jones, the ARISE Promise of Africa Collective runway show II, featured four of the brightest design talents from across the African continent at Bryant Park, New York . The show featured Folake Folarin-Coker of Tiffany Amber and Lisa Folawiyo of Jewel By Lisa from Nigeria, Eric Raisina of Eric Raisina Haute Texture from Madagascar, and David Tlale of South Africa. Super Models Chanel Iman, Tyson Beckford and Oluchi Onweagba strutted the runway to make a successful show which also attracted international press like the inaugural show did.
ARISE L’AFRIQUE- À-PORTER PRESENTATION PARIS FASHION WEEK MARCH 2010
Ten designers in March 2010, took part at the ARISE Magazine: ARISE L’Afrique-A-Porte Presentation at Paris Fashion week. Once again, ARISE selected the best designers in what turned out to be a reunion of talents across Africa to present a stunning collective of Africa designs. This formed part of the activities of the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode Fédération and introduced designers from Africa to media, buyers and the Federation. The designers who took part were Tiffany Amber (Nigeria) Jewel by Lisa (Nigeria) MOMO (Nigeria), David Tlale (South Africa), Kluk CGDT (South Africa), Lunar (South Africa) and Christie Brown (Ghana).
ARISE MAGAZINE FASHION WEEK MARCH 2011
In 2011, ARISE Magazine Fashion Week took place at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos. The four-day show had the most extensive lineup of international and homegrown designers the Africa continent had ever seen. Fifty designers showcased their designs in three significant categories over the four days; Group, Double and Collective. The designers were Alexander Amosu, Amine Bendriouich Couture and BS, Autumn Adeigbo, Angelo Van Mol, B-Side by Wale Adeyemi, Bestow Elan, Black Coffee, Bridget Awosika, Buki Akib, Bunmi Koko, Chichia, Christie Brown, Deola Sagoe, Ejiro Amos Tafiri, Eki Orleans, Eredappa, Gavin Rajah (SA), Gert-Johan Coetzee, Grey, House of Farrah, House of Nwocha, Ituen Basi, Jewel by Lisa, JIL, Jo Black Craze, Kastle Designs & Treasure Chest, KemKemStudio, Kiki Kamanu, Klûk CGDT, Korto Momolu, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, LaQuan Smith, Lola Faturoti, Madam Wokie’s Couture, Maki Oh, Mataano, Mustafa Hassanali, Nikki Khiran Couture, NKWO, Odio Mimonet, Okunoren Twins, Pierre-Antoine Vettorello, Re Bahia, Samantha Cole, Tiffany Amber, Toju Foyeh, Tsemaye Binitie, Viv La Resistance, Vonne, Xuly.Bët, Zedeye.Each day closed with a live musical performance by Estelle, Naeto C, Darey Art-Alade, and Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, better known as the two-time Brit award-winning artist Tinie Tempah respectively.
ARISE MAGAZINE FASHION WEEK MADE IN AFRICA SEPTEMBER 2011
ARISE Made in Africa Fashion show was the fourth ARISE Fashion Collective show at New York Fashion Week. ARISE, magazine curators of the show unveiled seven pioneering African Fashion designers for its ground-breaking Spring 2012 Designer Collective Made in Africa at the Avery Fisher Hall, New York. The seven designers, KLûK CGTD, Pierre-Antoine Vettorello, Jewel by Lisa, Tsemaye Binitie, Lanre Da Silva, Asibelua and Bunmi Koko were all winners at the 2011 ARISE Fashion Awards, held earlier on in the year in Lagos, Nigeria.
Platinum-selling singer Leona Lewis gave an arousing closing performance and brought the show to an applauding end. The show received huge acclaims from the media including this quote from London’s Daily Mail: “It was a triumphant show for Ms Da Silva-Ajayi and the African fashion set, also including Jewel by Lisa, Asibelua, Bunmi Koko, Tsemaye Binitie, Pierre-Antoine Vettorello and KlûK CGDT. They threw the cat amongst the pigeons of New York high fashion with an eclectic mix of bright colours, eye-catching designs and bucket-loads of African attitude”.
ARISE MAGAZINE FASHION COLLECTIVE V: “AFRICAN ICONS” SEPTEMBER 2012
ARISE Magazine in September 2012 on the first day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week NY, presented its “Five Africans Icons”: British fashion designer of Ghanaian descent Oswald Boateng, Tiffany Amber of Nigerian designer Folake Folarin-Coker, South African entrepreneur and designer Gavin Rajah, London based Nigerian designer Tsemaye Binitie, and Maki Oh. These five designers in their usual style, showcased an elegant 2013 Spring Collection at Lincoln Center proving to the world the brilliancy African Fashion Designer pour into their designs.
ARISE Magazine Fashion Week Lagos MARCH 2012
ARISE Magazine Fashion Week –fashion extravaganza ran for an extended period of six days from 6th – 11th March 2012 in three tents on the grounds of the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos,
Nigeria. Over 77 designers from all over Africa participated in the runway show, which ended with a Fashion Award. The awards allowed five outstanding designers secure a golden ticket to showcase their talents at the ARISE Fashion Week Fashion Collective V show at the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week in September that year.
Arise Fashion Week 2018
Making waves back into the spotlight after a six-year hiatus, ARISE Fashion Week returned to Lagos, Nigeria, March 30th – April 2nd, 2018. With guest celebrities, supermodel appearances and superstar performances, the show made a star-studded comeback. As one of Africa’s most premier fashion shows, AFW is sought out for its highly curated array of exclusive styles, fresh talent, and leading African designers, as well as international names in fashion. Based on this, the comeback by didn’t disappoint and was an exciting experience for all who attended.
Arise Fashion Week 2019
Arise Fashion Week 2019 held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, over the Easter holiday and pooled a few global fashion brands and models to the Lagos runway. It featured over 30 local and international brands, including Colombian international Designer, Esteban Cortazar who had this to say at the end of the event. “I’m super excited to be here. This is the real future market to tap into. It is exciting to discover places that are up and coming, developing, where there is exciting energy for the future and I really believe that Africa is it. I come from Colombia, Latin America, and I believe that Latin America and Africa are both having this moment of Arise that is happening naturally.” Deola Sagoe and Kenneth Ize receive a joint award for Designer of The Year at the end of the show.
Arise Fashion Week 2020
This year, 2020 was a bit different. Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, Arise Fashion week managed to put together a fantastic
virtual show streamed live on all THISDAY/ARISE platforms. The event had a twist, though. For the first time, it was a competition between 30 designers under the age of 30.
After two days of fierce competition, Kenneth Ize emerged as the winner. Ize was rewarded with a $100,000 cash prize while runners-up Ré Lagos and South African Mmuso Maxwell received $75,000 and $50,000.