“W“OW! Where do I begin this month’s Editor’s Note? Do I start at how much of a whirlwind it was leading up to Labor day and how it has stayed a whirlwind?
How about the fact that Winter and Spring Fashion Weeks, each year, are usually the busiest for the fashion industry and media alike? Hmmm . . .
I think I’d rather go a different route. “Ladybrillers,” 🙂 Please rise for a Standing Ovation to African Fashion!
As I officially commemorate Ladybrille’s September 2011 Fashion Week Edition, it is imperative for me to ask that you remain standing and give a great standing ovation to African fashion. What a journey for all in Africa’s fashion community? Only five years ago, the landscape for African fashion was dismal, at best.
Now, it is vibrant, full of hope and excitement and continues to infiltrate almost every corner of the earth at rapid speed. From only one video clip on African fashion shows in 2007 on You Tube, we now have a phletora of video clips celebrating African fashion! How fantastic this all has been?
By the way, how exciting was the Arise Magazine Made in Africa Fashion show yesterday?Two years ago, the Africans invaded Mercedes-Benz New Fashion Week and they have not left. This surely calls for a hearty laughter doesn’t it?
While we didn’t make it to Africa Fashion Week New York this year, isn’t it exciting that a show conceived only last year is already being profiled by CNN, among many media outlets, in its second year? What about Arise Magazine Lagos Fashion Week inaugural edition in Nigeria? What about South Africa? South Africa alone debuted Capetown Fashion Week, Joburg Fashion Week, South Africa Fashion Week and now prepares for its third annual Africa Fashion Week, which will be streamed online so we can all watch the exciting evolution of African fashion?
Other African countries have also joined the fashion week festivities: Mali Fashion Week, Botswana Fashion Week, Ghana Fashion Week, Senegal Fashion Week, Cameroon Fashion Week, Tanzania Fashion Week, Africa Fashion Week London, Africa Fashion Weekend Dublin, and the list goes on.
African fashion has arrived and said, “look, I am taking my rightful place on the global fashion map whether you like it or not.” Nothing has been able to stop this viral spread of the true image of who Africans really are, celebrated through fashion. Highly significant is you Ladybrillers, a community of some of the most brilliant men and women, have been primarily responsible for this revolution. You are the influencers organizing the fashion week shows, operating your fashion businesses, managing staff, strutting the red carpets in African fashions, blogging about African fashion stories and equally important, reading, sharing and purchasing African designs. Your efforts have generated an era that can only be best summed up as AFRICA STYLE NOW!
I am super proud of each and everyone of you for all of the roles you all have played in African fashion.
Accordingly, this month, it is only fitting to bring it back to the roots by acknowledging those among us whose face and brands, especially in the West, opened the doors for African fashion. For our Ladybrille Woman of the Month, no one is more fitting than Liberian-American fashion designer Korto Momolu. Momolu was the first African to make it as one of the top three finalists on Project Runway reality television. As a finalist, she put Africa on the map when she showed at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Project Runway Season 5 show. Her achievements was major both for Africans, the Black community and plus size women, the world over. Momolu returns after our first exclusive in 2008 with her, to give us the full scoop on what she has been up to. Her interview will be published next week Wednesday.
Shinning just as brilliantly next to our Woman of the Month, is Chris Aire, our Ladybrille Man of the Month. Aire is the first Jewelry designer to show at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. Jeweler to Hollywood’s biggest names, Aire’s achievements are too long to list, but you will definitely read all about them this Monday, including his new expansion into other territories abroad.
Finally, you’ve seen some of our coverage on the just completed New York Fashion Week. Our full official report is forthcoming from Ladybrille’s Elfonnie Inokon. We close out September with Arise Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Helen Jennings, who just launched her book ‘New African Fashion’ featuring Africa’s top contemporary designers and models. I have my hands on the digital copy and can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all.
Brilliant people, what I hope happens, in every edition, is that you are inspired to do more than you already do, to stay brilliant, determined, focused, unwilling to compromise your values as you influence the globe through all of your contributions to African fashion and its entertainment industries. My hope is that every edition inspires you all to mentor the young upcoming ones; and continue to give back to your communities both African and non-African communities. Of course it goes without saying that you MUST do all of these rocking some of the finest African fashion designs there are.
To say I am pleased with all of the achievements in Africa’s fashion industry and more achievements to come, would be an understatement.
Please rise for a standing ovation to African fashion!
Uduak Oduok, Esq.