African Fashion Week London: Sharing Africa's Beauty and Innovation on the Fashion Worldstage!
Founded in 2011 by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) is one of the world’s largest fashion shows promoting and nurturing African and African-inspired design talent.
With a collaborative catwalk, exhibition, education and business development program, Africa Fashion Week London has led the way in bringing international awareness to Africa’s emerging designers. It has been instrumental in preserving the heritage of indigenous textiles and has been at the forefront of training the next generation of designers in building sustainable businesses.
Africa Fashion Week London has hosted 9 catwalk events and contributed expertise to events produced by 3rd parties. They have showcased over 900 emerging designers & exhibitors - from Africa, Europe and the rest of the world – to 70,000 visitors including buyers, retailers, influential industry and media professionals. It is now a highlight on the annual fashion calendar.
Africa Fashion Week London also leverages valuable partnerships with top UK and US educational universities to deliver its educational programme. Partnering with Henley Business School and Parsons School of Design, Africa Fashion Week London has successfully delivered an online training programme. Students learn the latest in Fashion Lifecycle, Innovation and Wearable Technology, Sustainability, Finding Finance and Future-Proofing. They are now positioning themselves to grow this model into a Design Academy and Innovation Lab.
Africa Fashion Week London has a sister organisation based in Nigeria. Since 2014, the Lagos annual event, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, has launched 500 new and emerging designers to the African market, paying particular attention to designers who use the indigenous fabrics of Nigeria or those who have ethical practices and sustainability at the heart of their brands. The main focus is to use fashion as an instrument of sustainability and of social change.
Princess Ronke has also been fundamental in helping to preserve the indigenous Adire (a wax-resist indigo dyed cloth) textile manufacture in Ile-Ife, south-west Nigeria. Working closely with the Ooni of Ife, Princess Ronke has opened an Adire Textile Hub that will generate employment, increase the capacity of the artisans working in Ile-Ife and educate on the importance of sustainability and ethical and environmental practices.
The Hub will also provide opportunities for cultural exchange between African and international students of design to learn about the Adire fabric.