ARISE Fashion Week: Lagos fashion on world stage


This Easter, ARISE Fashion Week was hosted in Lagos, Nigeria. AFW was first hosted 11 years ago to bring designs from Nigeria and other African nations to the global stage. Since then, ARISE (an acronym for Africa Rising) has helped African designers gain global prominence, and made Nigeria a global fashion destination. After a five year hiatus, ARISE has returned.

This year’s events were hosted by none other than British supermodel Naomi Campbell, and featured 45 designers from 14 countries including Ozwald Boateng (former creative director for menswear at Givenchy) and British rapper Tinie Tempah, who released a capsule collection entitled “7 days to Lagos.”

Many celebrities were in attendance, and many of them hope to use largescale events like AFW to help elevate African creatives and their work to the global prominence they deserve.

In a Vogue article, Naomi Campbell says “I’m gonna wear [all those designers] now that I’m home; I felt so comfortable, so easy, so relaxed. I feel like Africa, as a continent, is on the tip of explosion. It’s the next destination, and it needs a broader platform. I am going to help them get it. It’s more than overdue. There needs to be an African Vogue. It’s time.”

In addition to hosting the weekend’s festivities, Campbell walked in two shows, and spent time at the BBK Africa Homecoming music festival that took place in Lagos the same weekend. Organized by the manager of rapper Skepta and Greatness Dex of BBK Africa, the mini festival was conceived to uplift musical talent and creativity within Lagos. Both of these events are evident of the growing global attention being paid to one of Africa’s largest metropolitan cities.

Not only was ARISE a weekend full of beautiful fashion and culture, but hopefully its return represents a step towards elevating the extraordinary work of African designers and artists.


Dominque Brodie