London Fashion Week is near and coinciding with the global fashion fiasco is 'Africa on the catwalk' a fashion show part of the second Africa Utopia Festival presented by The Southbank Centre. Produced and directed by Ola Shobowale of infinite beauty factory and fashion director Sharna-Marie Francis, 'African on the Catwalk' will take place on Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 2:30pm in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall. The show will bring together designers from Africa and those who are inspired by the continent's rich cultural heritage. Designers include: Bestow Elan (Ghana/UK), SOBOYE (Nigeria/UK), Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa/UK), AAKS (Ghana), Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco /UK), Adele Dejak (Kenya), Sarah Duah (Ghana/Germany), Haus of Hercules (Nigeria/UK) and Mifani Shoes (Ghana/UK).
The designer behind this label; Erzumah Ackerson; is a former London College of Fashion graduate and assistant to fashion designer; Jonathon Saunders. She draws her inspiration from both classic and vintage stimuli, as well as influences from her Ghanaian heritage. Her garments are often described as timeless, feminine and chic. Having showcased at the V&A museum, La Geneve North, the much coveted Arise Magazine fashion week in Lagos, Nigeria and featured in Grazia Magazine, US based lifestyle website Clutch Magazine and Africa’s largest TV network Studio 53. Bestow Elan is quickly rising as one of the UK's and Ghana's prominent fashion stars.
Samson graduated from Central St. Martin’s in1994 and began initially assisting Lucinda Chambers at British Vogue. Freelance commissions for editorials saw his work featured in publications such as The Guardian; The Times; ES magazine as well advertising campaigns. Samson launched ‘Africa @ SOBOYE’ in 2012 to celebrate Africa’s inclusion in the London Olympics and it’s success lead to the creation of his own line of shirts, which later became a full Men’s Collection, which debuted at Lagos Fashion and Style Week in 2013. 2014 saw Samson develop the SOBOYE brand and create a full Women’s Collection in collaboration with Caroline Chinakwe, which debuted at Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Day Berlin.
Sindiso Khumalo is a South African designer based in both London and Johannesburg. She studied Architecture at University of Cape Town before moving to London to work for award winning architect David Adjaye. Following that she went on to study an MA Textiles at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, graduating with distinction for her final project. In October 2012 she was short listed for the Elle Magazine Rising Star Competition and showcased her début SS13 collection at the Awards. Describing her aesthetic as "Afro Bauhaus gone Pop", she brings a heightened sense of colour and a collision of geometric prints to her luxury womenswear brand.
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi launched AAKs in Ghana in 2013 following a period working for Peter Pilotto and William Tempest in the UK. The brand's core values can be summed as: a critical attention to craftsmanship, authenticity and ethical values in their production while having a strong sense of identity and quality. The brand reflects her profound commitment to sustainability and ethical practices throughout the production chain. Based in Ghana and United Kingdom , the pieces incorporate the use of raffia and leather to create bags hand crafted by the best local artisan weavers. A A K S has been featured among others, in Pride Magazine and Vogue.com
Official Womens Shoe Sponsor Mifani, is an independent accessories label, specialising in embellished high heel shoes. Using mock precious stones, emeralds, onyx and sapphire gems, Mifani's bejewelled and metal embellishment shoe concept is a tribute to the mood of opulence, luxury and baroque glamour. The true spirit of Mifani is about the other side of her, the part the world never gets to see. Mifani's vision is to feed the alter egos of the world with show-stopping double-take footwear, designed exclusively, made with love.
Official Mens Shoe Sponsor Haus Of Hercules prides itself as a shoe and accessory design & merchandising Haus, officially since 2012. Originating, from the shores off the coasts of Lagos, Nigeria. Worn by both men and women, who desire footwear that’s comfortable, contemporary and embodies a sense of of a rich cultural heritage.