There are few fashion events in the world solely celebrating the rich tapestry of talent in Africa. The Africa Fashion Show Geneva (AFSG), an annual event held in the beautiful Swiss city, celebrates the continent’s history and diversity, in turn helping change the way the world perceives Africa.
This year, the show, in its third edition, held in June at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva, was a feast for the senses.
The models sashayed the ramp in vibrant colors to the beat of African drums receiving a rapturous applause.
The night was indeed a celebration of Africa, its fashion, people, culture and cuisine.
Tayo Ayinla Omotola, Nigerian and the founder of AFSG, who has lived and worked in Geneva for over eight years for the Africa Progress Panel chaired by Kofi Annan (former United Nations’ Secretary-General), is very clear the show is to promote cultural exchange across borders and encourage a positive narrative about the continent.
“I wanted to showcase positive African stories through fashion and in doing so highlight Africa’s creativity, which contributes to its economic development but with potential to do so even more,” says Omotola, who aims to eventually create a greater awareness of the untapped potential of the African fashion industry to spur socioeconomic development on the continent.
South African designer Nonkululeko Magi, the founder of Afrokulcha who started her fashion business two years ago, was at the event too, to gain exposure in an international market. She showcased Africa’s current threads and trends.
“It’s time to showcase African talent. The time is now. Africa is rising,” says Magi. Cape Town designer Yumnaa Firfirey of Bodhisattva, agrees: “Fashion does have the power to transform lives. We need to unleash that potential.”
Africa’s creative industry can’t agree more.