You go to a fashion show. You see models wearing fancy clothing. You take some pictures. You say how cool the show is on Snapchat. You then forget about it. Until you are looking for some likes on Instagram, so you put a #tbt post up. That’s not the kind of show that Africa Fashion Week London was.
As Africa Fashion Week London wasn’t a fashion show that was meant to highlight some new clothing or that was meant to bring the most known models. Don’t get me wrong. We saw some top models. We saw some new clothing. But that’s not the most important thing that the show brought. Networking was the most important part of the show.
It was about the mix of everything. We saw some known designers. We saw some upcoming designers. We saw some known models. We saw some upcoming models. Location? From everywhere.
But the reason why Africa Fashion Week London wasn’t the show that most shows are is due to AFWL not just celebrating fashion. It was celebrating a specific culture. A lot of shows don’t celebrate culture, and that results in people that don’t share the same interests gathering together. And that doesn’t always work out well. People don’t always benefit from that.
And AFWL showed culture in many ways. By clothing but also by dancers, singers and even organizations such as the Black Cultural Archives.
And when you celebrate culture, you have a lot to talk about, you also have a lot to witness. This was a show that people came to see to witness the African culture and clothing is simply one of the many parts of the African culture.
This show showed us clothing that represents the African culture, clothing that we don’t get to see every day. It allowed us to get inspired but also to later buy some African style clothing or accessories that you can’t buy everywhere. Something I did.
This show brought cultures together. People from Rwanda flew in. People from the US flew in. And when people from different cultures connect, there’s this spark of energy that we all benefit from. We see different perspectives of lives. As it’s not just people from various countries within a continent, it’s also people from different continents. And that is special.
And every designer or company there had some piece of history behind it. Whether by the Angelo Igitego bow ties being created due to somebody knowing four languages in Rwanda, or by somebody simply being in love in the African culture because they saw a movie as a child. And that rocks. Every set of clothing or accessories was created because of something that happened in the past.
The event was organized pretty smoothly. The music was great. The atmosphere was great. People were lovely. It did have a slight delay on the second day. That happens. But that allowed people to talk for longer before the show. And that matters as it’s the connections that were made during the show that really mattered.
If there’s anything that was slightly wrong, it would be the fact that the security wasn’t strict enough. While it could have been on attendees, the press was not asked for ID, and when I was getting a designer wristband, I was not even asked for my name. And that could give anyone access to anywhere, without even being checked. Luckily, the event went very smoothly and without any security issues.
It was an event worth witnessing. Surpassing “good” several times. It was excellent.