Born in London and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Ronke Ademiluyi is a law graduate and fashion business entrepreneur. Receiving many compliments about her fashion sense while an undergraduate in London, she soon found herself functioning as a fashion advisor to friends, teaching fellow students how to utilise the fashion resources available to them to make better style choices. By the time she graduated from school, she already has a strong following and had become a fashion consultant of sorts.
Returning to Nigeria in the early 1990s, she set up the Rukkies set of high street fashion boutiques with branches in the fashion centres of Lagos, such as Opebi-Ikeja, Bode Thomas-Surulere and Idumota-Lagos Island. Her boutiques catered for women and girls of all ages, taking care of their apparel needs from shoes and handbags to formal and party dresses of all varieties. She also represented big name UK brands in Nigeria, such as Fever Collections.
In 2010, her passion for promoting fashion business led her into hosting the Boutique Fashion Show, the first ever event of its kind. Held at the exclusive Colonades Hotel on Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi Lagos. It was an exhibition which enabled boutiques to showcase their fashion collections, as well as their unique beauty and fashion services, to an assortment of guests.
Encouraged by the event, she went on to set up the first ever Africa Fashion Week London in 2011. It was an event that she had been developing her mind for months as she sought a way to bridge the perceived gaps between African fashion and global fashion trends, in London and other fashion capitals of the world. She saw an urgent need to support young and emerging African inspired designers in the UK and globally and the first staging of AFWL recorded an excellent performance for a pioneering event.
AFWL provides and produces professional showcasing platforms and creates opportunities for established or up-coming African inspired designers. AFWL is about supporting fashion and new designers, and creating economic growth within the fashion industry.
Africa Fashion Week London’s platforms also provide the opportunity for fresh faces in the modelling industry to walk on the runway and work with designers. Through the charity arm of the event, AFWL has provided over 70 young UK based designers free platforms to showcase their collections to a global audience, in the effort to provide full support for young African inspired designers. AFWL continues to showcase their collections on the runway and help them tackle some of the challenges they face in the fashion industry.
Combining runway and fashion exhibitions shows in three days of perfectly paced, illuminating expos, Africa Fashion Week London is the biggest African inspired fashion event in the UK. The event has hosted the creations of over 200 African and African inspired designers from across the African continent and the diaspora.
In just a few years of existence, AFWL has become a landmark event on the world fashion calendar. Over 35,000 visitors have attended AFWL events and over 200 emerging designers have showcased their work to a global audience. AFWL has seen scores of big names and emerging designers from across the globe converging in London to grace the event’s runway with their stunning masterpieces.
On 18th May 2014, and in response to requests from many of Nigerian designers that showcased in AFWL, Ronke successfully hosted the first edition of Africa Fashion Week NIgeria, bringing the event home to the African continent. The event featured over 40 designers and exhibitors, most of whom are young and emerging names in the fashion industry.
Ronke Ademiluyi also runs a charity organization known as the Association of African Designers in the Diaspora. The organisation recognises the needs and challenges of new fashion designers and seeks ways of solving them through fundraising and special projects. Ronke continues to be dedicated to promoting African fashion and supporting African inspired designers across the globe.
Notes to editors:
• Africa Fashion London will be held at Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX on the 8th and 9th August 2014
• Tickets, including VIP, can be purchased from the Africa Fashion Week London website http://africafashionweeklondon.com/buy-tickets/
For more press information about Africa Fashion Week London or to register to attend as press please contact [email protected]