Kenya hosts Africa Fashion Week,  feature indigenous costumes

Kenya hosts Africa Fashion Week,  feature indigenous costumes

The second edition of Africa Fashion Week opened in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Monday, with designers from different countries in the continent showcasing indigenous outfits.

The event that runs from Dec. 4 to 9 blends fashion, culture and creativity and aims to raise the visibility of the continent’s rich collection of costumes.

Saitoti Meitamei, the chief executive officer of the Africa Fashion Week, said its main objective is to foster the growth of creative talent, entrepreneurship, and innovation and expand the market for indigenous clothes.

“The Africa fashion week is about taking our pride back, making sure that Africans are proud of clothes that are made in Africa,” Meitamei said, adding that corporate partners have supported the premier fashion week.

More than 30 African fashion designers are exhibiting at the event while over 60 models will be showcasing locally-made outfits, Meitamei said, adding that fashion design students at the Nairobi-based Delight Technical College, the convener of Africa Fashion Week, will also be showcasing their outfits to potential buyers.

Meitamei said the designers who will be showcasing their indigenous wear at the fashion week to be held under the theme of “celebration of cultures, creativity and colors” are drawn from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.

Wairimu Wangu, the event coordinator of Africa Fashion Week, said Africa’s indigenous fashion has evolved, providing sustainable revenue streams to young designers. According to Wangu, the convening of this year’s Africa Fashion Week was informed by the need to create a platform for designers to showcase their products, and network with local and overseas clients.

Wangu observed that the majority of African fashion designers are leveraging social media and digital commerce platforms to market their outfits while their business acumen has improved through peer learning.

The event has attracted upcoming designers across Africa keen to showcase their craft and ink new business opportunities, said Millicent Oluoch, a fashion designer and tutor.

Brian Obukui, a fashion tutor and member of the Africa Fashion Week organizing committee, noted that youthful stylists have revolutionized the continent’s indigenous wear, securing jobs and income.

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