– Zanda Isaacs
Fashion and music work in tandem and many of the continent’s designs and collections both home and in the diaspora, are inspired by the sounds of the African soil.
Over this past weekend, we attended the African Fashion International Fashion Week (AFIFW) that lasted from the 10th till the 12th of October at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg.
Acclaimed African designers culminated to thrill the movers and shakers of African urban culture, entertainment and fashion with their works. Some of the continents’ best were represented during the fashion festivities. The AFI runway was embellished with works by David Tlale and some of his proteges, as well as Gavin Rajah, Rich Factory, Eric Raisina, Marianne Fassler, Nao Serati and Kahindo just to name a few.
We’ve listed some of our favourite collections and coupled them with a corresponding track that we feel was the perfect backdrop to the looks we witnessed at AFIFW ‘19…
House of Jahdara [music note] Tiwa Savage – 49-99
Picture a group of adolescent best friends dressing up in extravagant gowns, getting ready for their first-ever Queen’s Ball. Brushing their hair, fixing each other’s lashes, and exchanging shoes.
Now picture Tiwa Savage’s 49-99 playing in the background of this scene.
Nigerian Luxury and couture brand ‘House of Jahdara’, had the audience wide-eyed and enticed with its modern and quirky take on luxury fashion. From the luminous colours to the exaggerated silhouettes, this collection truly was a showstopper.
Kahindo [music note] Anatii – Wena
When looking at designer Kahinda’s collection, you couldn’t help but plaster a smile on your face and heart as well. Propelled by her Congolese background and inspired by the world, this collection couldn’t have made us feel any prouder of how far the African continent has come. With its vibrant, warm and earthy colours, listening to Anatii’s ‘Wena’ and seeing Kahinda’s collection ignited similar feelings in the soul – feelings of coming home.
Rich Factory [music note] M.I Abaga – Playlist
Palm trees, coconuts and paradise. This collection was easy, light and bright.
The freshness of the collection matched the hues of M.I Abaga’s voice in ‘Playlist ft.Nonso Amadi’. This collection was diverse, inclusive and non-conforming.
Some of our particularly favourite looks.
Kreyann [music note] Wizkid – Joro
Sultry, sexy and Proudly African.
The models were gliding on the runway as if it were made from Cinderella’s glass slipper.
This collection was bold and fiery while still simple and elegant. Hues of green, deep oranges and earthy yellow’s complemented each other effortlessly to tie this collection together. A runway draped in garments as piquant as Wizkid vocals in ‘Joro’.
Khosi Nkosi [music note] Samthing Soweto – Akulaleki
‘Akulaleki’ which translates to ‘Can’t Sleep’ in the South African language isiZulu, fits Khosi Nkosi’s fresh and vibrant take on South Africa’s different traditional attires.
This runway was a star-studded show, filled with celebrities, influencers, Miss South Africa and a very adorable little girl.
All in all, AFIFW saw a host of Pan African fashion designers and enthusiasts come together to celebrate the continent and to convey a message of African unity.
Below are more looks we loved.