Although Naomi Campbell took more of a backstage role at the just-concluded ARISE Fashion Week, lending support to the young designers and occasionally assuming hosting duties, the supermodel graced the catwalk in Tzar Studios on the last day of the event.
Naomi looked regal in a stunning maxi poncho and trouser combo from the Lagos-based fashion house. For his collection, owner and creative director Ian Audifferen employed a mixture of prints and muted colors to maintain a breezy aesthetic.
“I’m very proud—it’s an honour to wear their designs,” Campbell said. “I find these young designers right now, they’re so proud of their work. They’re confident because it has a story that they’re telling.”
The supermodel has long been a dedicated supporter of fashion from across the African continent and has backed Arise Fashion Week since its relaunch.
“These designers have never gotten the opportunity to be on a global platform, she said. “Designers need guidance and support that [ensures] they’re going into the right markets, working with the right factories, and connecting with the right collaborators.”
“I just want to see them succeed and achieve their dreams,” she said. “Designers from the African continent have been ignored for so long, so to see these designers get the chance to have the recognition they deserve makes me happy. You can open a door, but that doesn’t mean that everything works. Still, having equal opportunities is necessary.”
After two magical days of fierce competition on the grandest runway in Africa, Kenneth Ize was crowned winner of the 30 under 30 showcase, with Campbell herself announcing his victory. The supermodel said she will continue doing her part to bring about change, offering the designers insights gained over a more than 30-year fashion career, and using her platforms to give them exposure.