AFI (Africa Fashion International) was established to propel African brands on the global stage. Focusing on quality, craftsmanship and a unique point of view accompanied with African heritage, AFI aims to be pioneers in luxury African fashion. Three Magazine’s Burton Miles got up close for the Nadrey Laurent and Dedani shows at AFI FW Cape Town 2020. Here’s the lowdown on what went down on the runway.
Based in Accra, Ghana, Nadrey Laurent was founded in 2012. It is a luxury brand unifying people and cultures while promoting African heritage.
Use of bold colours and prints accompanied by strong silhouettes gives Nadrey Laurent to anyone feeling themselves. The collection was powerful. Marie Kipre truly hit it out of the park with this one.
The collection told a story, a story to me being that of an aspirational woman. The bold colours made for an easy power move. Introducing softer fabric and a lot of prints added to the story showing that this woman is not only strong and bold, but feminine and playful.
Dedani is pretty new and they focus on indigenous cashmere designs, handmade in Africa. Dedani collaborates with local and global artisans. They hope to revive traditional African styles by adding a modern twist to their extremely unique items.
“Passion and authenticity goes into all of our creations” And I can attest to this. Every item that came down the catwalk was breath-taking. I feel that Dedani has a voice that needs to be heard.
You could clearly see where African culture came into play in the design process of this collection, but it got turned on its head with modern silhouettes. Their use of bold prints really gave the collection unspeakable power and gravitas, but managed to reach a balance in terms of wear-ability which is something a lot of designers struggle with. The garments that were showcased did not feel compromised at all which is a hurdle that Dedani leaped over.
Showing Up for African Fashion
What I love most about AFI is that it’s not only here for promoting African businesses in the fashion industry (through the AFI Designer Marketplace), but it’s also there for nurturing young talent so that they can succeed via their Masterclasses.
The event brought out everyone, from those who just love fashion to those who form a part of the fashion industry and everyone in between. People truly showed up and showed OUT!
Words: Burton Miles