As the struggle of January begins to fade and most of us can finally think of being great again, I decided to compile a list of fashion weeks all across the continent that I've been eyeing over the years and very much plan on attending some time in the near future, either to walk as a model or capture a blogger. Or both ;)
So without wasting time, part 1 of 2 in my African Fashion Weeks: A Model's Bucket List (in no particular order)
1. Dakar Fashion Week (Senegal)
Dakar has long been a fashion heavyweight in West Africa (particularly Francophone Africa) and has been bringing the noise with one of the continents biggest and brightest fashion weeks.
This fashion week takes place annually in June/July with a parade of boldness, brightness and masterful fusions of traditional dress like kaftans and boubous with modern and Western fashion.
Model Baidiche Pro shot by Tom Leather dressed by Samarra Shoes
Read some more of what's gone down before by people who were there:
Behind-the-scenes with Vogue Magazine http://www.vogue.com/article/dakar-fashion-week-2016-behind-the-scenes
Dakar Fashion Week through a model's eyes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-33133584
2. Hub of Africa Fashion Week (Ethiopia)
Bringing it closer to home with this one, the relatively young Hub of Africa fashion week has quickly made a name for itself attracting established and upcoming designers from across the continent.
Not to mention the support from various Italian organizations and even Vogue Talents last year, which meant model scouts and potential buyers from around the world were on the hunt for greatness from the region and the continent at large.
Look out for this showcase every October.
Models walk in Kiko Romeo, Hub of Africa Fashion Week 2016 (Photo from Hub of Africa Fashion Week FB Page)
Even bigger things to come, I'm sure!
The 2014 showcase as told by Vogue Italia: http://www.vogue.it/en/talents/news/2014/11/hub-for-africa-fashion-week
3. Swahili Fashion Week (Tanzania)
#Swahilifashionweek made it on the front cover of the current edition of #travelsmart the #inflight #magazine of @fastjetofficial Read the cover story interview by founder/organiser @mustafahassanali and critically acclaimed award winning #menswear designer @pedaiahswankjohn Special thanks to Kate and dedicated #teamfastjet
Another East African great is Swahili Fashion Week, held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in early December for the last 10 years.
This is a cool one because I don't know of any other fashion week which includes a fashion awards ceremony at the end of it all celebrating the year's best stylists, models, designers and media/entertainment personalities.
Models showcase clothes by Kikis Fashion at the 2015 Swahili Fashion Week (Photo from Swahili Fashion Week FB page)
Last year's press release as told by MissiePopular.com: http://www.missiepopular.com/2016/11/swahili-fashion-week-awards-2016-is.html
2016 Recap and awards winners: http://www.kokolife.tv/news/2016/12/06/award-winners-9th-annual-swahili-fashion-week/
4. Soweto Fashion Week (South Africa)
A newbie to South Africa's fashion scene but one to take note of is Soweto Fashion Week, which in conjunction with Darling Hair for the past couple of years has given opportunities to up-and-coming hair stylists as well as the models and designers showcasing their work.
Just like Soweto itself the shows are vibrant, daring and married to South African culture through the eras.
Winter collections are exhibited in May while the summer showcase is in November of each year.
Natural Sisters blog on the 2015 showcase: http://naturalsisters.co.za/2015/12/soweto-fashion-week-darling-hair/
And we swing it to our Lusophone brothers and sisters for the end of this installment of African Fashion Weeks- Angola Fashion Week, held in Luanda every June.
The birthplace of catwalk stars like Maria Borges and Sharam Diniz among others hosts easily one of the most underrated fashion weeks on the continent. Think carnaval vibes and an unmistakeable African flair of mixing traditional and modern without imitation. What I like to see!
Models sashay down the runway with Brazilian designer Amapô (Photo from Angola Fashion Week B Page)
Coverage from Coisas de Preta blog: http://www.coisasdepreta.com/angola-fashion-week/
The 2016 marvel as told by LuxAfrique: http://luxafrique.net/angola-fashion-week-2016-afw-luanda/
And there you go, my first five African Fashion Weeks on the bucket list! Have you been to any of these? Which would you add to the second installment?
Keep in touch: