‘Magical’ was a recurrent word on the lips of those who witnessed the first day of runway shows at the ARISE FASHION WEEK 2020.
Friday’s showcase has been described as the “biggest show of the year” after pulling out all stops to make sure it was as glamourous and captivating as ever, despite being a virtual show.
Twenty designers dazzled a global audience with gorgeous collections, just as some of Africa’s biggest entertainers enthralled an appreciative audience held captive for hours.
First on the runway was Onalaja, a Nigerian brand owned by Kanyinsola Onalaja.
For her collection, the young designer paired dark hues in glitter and sequins with dangling leopard-shaped earrings that reflect the pride of Africa.
Next on the catwalk was menswear brand, Colrs, a small brand from Cologne Germany that has its roots in punk, cowboy surf, skate and street wear. True to form, Colrs models, including international superstar Alton Mason, strutted the runway in sequined trousers, cowboy hats and florals and pearl necklaces, the accessory of the season.
Nigerian brand Clan, renowned for its fresh and irreverent pieces, showcased its collection next. Owned by sisters Teni, Aba and Tiwa Sagoe- daughters of fashion designer Deola Sagoe- Clan juxtaposed masculine cuts with feminine pieces in hues of orange, blue and indigo on runway.
The first collection to merge modern silhouettes with traditional Nigerian textiles on the AFW runway came from Ladunni Lambo, whose models donned gorgeous adire gowns and skirts complete with fringes and headwraps.
Vicnate followed with exaggerated bows, bright hues and feminine silhouettes. The Nigerian brand, owned by 18-year-old Victor Anate, embraces a vision that is fresh, youthful and intentional.
Models sashayed to live performances from singer-songwriter WurlD, alternative star Wavy the Creator and sibling duo, The Cavemen.
Afrobeat superstar Wizkid’s performance was a fitting climax to Friday’s show.
Saturday promises to be bigger, better and more fascinating with 20 more designers to showcase before the final eight compete to share $500,000.
The young designers are competing for a chance to win the coveted cash prize of $100,000. First and second runners-up will receive $75,000 and $50,000 respectively.
A panel of eminent judges headed by co-creative director Ruth Osime will judge the designers based on their creativity, quality of design and styling.