Arise Fashion Week, Nigeria’s biggest fashion show, is the perfect stepping stone for emerging talents in the country and the continent to international recognition, according to its co-creative director, Ruth Osime.
This year’s theme is 30 under 30, focusing on young designers, some of whom have broken through successfully, while others are looking for that unique opportunity that only events like the Arise Fashion Week can offer.
“Most of the designers that started with us 10-12 years ago have gone on to become global brands and we have played no small role in making that happen,” said Osime, who is also the fashion director and executive editor of Nigeria’s most famous style magazine, the glossy This Day Style.
Previous editions have mainly focused on prominent fashion designers and spotlight a few rising stars. In a first for the fashion event, selected young and emerging designers will be rewarded for their talent. Designers from across the African continent, obscure and renowned alike, will present collections in livestreamed catwalk shows and compete for a grand prize worth $500,000.
“The whole idea of the Arise fashion brand is to discover hidden talents within our midst and change the African narrative which we have played a major role in doing.”
“The idea for the 30 under 30 was that we needed a new generation of stars, we needed a breath of fresh air. We needed to take the crop that is now growing and take them to the next level.
“I think it’s so exciting because this is a time for them to launch their brands.”
But international exposure is not just reserved for the fashion designers. The models that walk the runway at Arise fashion week also go on to book bigger gigs too, with some strutting in Giorgio Armani, Givenchy and Valentino in runways around the world.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure the young ones are given the same ample opportunity that we gave to their predecessors. They are also to be discovered, nourished, groomed and allowed to grow,” Osime said.
The virtual show will be broadcast to a worldwide audience on the new ARISE PLAY streaming service and other ARISE and THISDAY digital platforms.