Africa Fashion Week London, one of Europe’s premier African fashion events, is gearing up for an exciting weekend from October 27 to October 29, 2023.
This year’s event promises to be bigger and better, with an array of talented designers gracing the catwalk. Get ready for a captivating experience featuring five rooms of exhibitions, shopping, delectable dining, and a plethora of thirst-quenching drinks. As a cherry on top, 3 extraordinary catwalk showcases, each featuring 10-12 talented designers.
Let’s get to know the headliners who will make this event a fashion extravaganza.
Established in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2008 by Adedayo David Eweje, David Wej stands as an award-winning international premium lifestyle brand celebrated for its distinctive traditionally inspired bespoke jacquard suits, classic shirts, and accessories.
Adedayo, a graduate in Geography and Regional Planning from Lagos State University, initially embarked on a successful career within the telecom industry, working for industry giants like Econet and Globacom. However, his childhood aspiration of becoming a fashion designer eventually materialized with the launch of David Wej.
Over the years, David Wej has garnered extensive editorial coverage, earned recognition as one of Nigeria’s foremost lifestyle brands, and emerged as the go-to choice for celebrities and high-profile individuals.
In March 2021, David Wej marked a significant milestone by officially opening its seventh international location in London, situated at 38 Great Portland Street, just off Oxford Street.
Mary Martin London
Mary Martin London, an internationally acclaimed fashion artist, is renowned for her bespoke designs favoured by celebrities on red carpets worldwide. Her vibrant and boundary-breaking creations have garnered attention through sold-out catwalk shows across the globe, from London and Accra to Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, and Scotland.
Drawing inspiration from Black culture and being recognized with titles like Queen Mother in Ghana for her charitable endeavours, Mary has made history as the first woman of colour to showcase her work at London’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Her “Return Collection” challenges historical narratives. Despite her humble upbringing in Wales, she passionately pursued her dream, obtained a fashion education, and launched her label, accumulating numerous awards along the way.
Mary’s unwavering dedication to textiles, innovation, and form shines through in her designs, making them highly sought after by the music and film industries and celebrities on red carpets. She serves as an inspirational role model for emerging designers and continues to thrive in the fashion world.
Adire Oodua Hub
The Adire Oodua Textile Hub, a testament to Queen Ronke Ademiluyi-Oguswusi‘s remarkable vision, was founded in 2021 under the Chairmanship of His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife.
At its core, this hub preserves and promotes South West Nigeria’s indigenous fabric, gaining international recognition and respect.
Going beyond textile production, Queen Ronke’s initiative empowers women entrepreneurs, who make up the majority of the workforce. It also functions as a teaching facility, passing on the invaluable heritage skills of Adire. Representing the Adire Oodua Textile Exhibition at Africa Fashion Week London 2023 is the Head Artisan, Ms. Oluwabukola Deborah Olasupo.
Adire, traditionally dyed using indigo and employing the wax or thread resist method, is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The Adire Oodua Textile Hub plays a pivotal role in making these fabrics more accessible, reaching up-market boutiques in Lagos’s prestigious Victoria Island and Ikoyi.
The hub isn’t just about textile production; it’s a hub for empowerment, education, and the resurgence of traditional craftsmanship. It significantly influences Nigeria’s evolving fashion landscape, empowering women and celebrating the rich heritage of South West Nigeria.