African Fashion Week Toronto 2014
By Daisy Badu
African Fashion Week Toronto made its return last week. AFWT main goal is to showcase African and African inspired designers around the world, similar to the African Fashion Weeks done in New York and recently London. The events took place from Thursday August 7 to Sunday, August 10 starting with networking event followed by fashion shows and ended with the 1st African Fashion Industry Awards.
AFTW not only showcases fashion designers that have created a name for themselves within the fashion industry but those who beginning their fashion career with the Saturday of the weekend being the main showcase of the designers. The day started off with the student designer competition and it was Leyla Wakabeza who won the judges over with her women’s clothing line of elegant but sexy evening dresses.
Two designers made their second appearance at AFWT but in a different way. Kadeem Faustin was one of the male models from the previous year and returned to show his collection of male and female pieces that mixed traditional African fabrics commonly known as Ankara with modern and unique cuts and silhouettes. A former volunteer of the event, Aroshna exhibited her red carpet inspired evening dresses in hues of greys, black and metallics.
This year saw the return of familiar faces such as the 2013 student designer winner ZNA K as well as Black Trash Clothing, a male and female duo from Botswana.
A new addition to the fashion show was Farida’s Style by Farida Degel from Eritrea. Her collection consisted of traditional Habesha clothing which added a different aspect to the fashion shows which is commonly dominated by Ankara infused pieces.
Other designers that exhibited were Revamped Kuts from South Africa and Vicky Muzadi from Angola.
The day was spilt into three fashion shows, 1:30pm, 4pm and 7:30pm with breaks in between allowing guests to look and purchase from various vendors sent up outside of the main room. The vendors sold a little bit of everything from unique jewellery pieces to African inspired room décor accessories.
Angelina Williams was the host for the day while DJ Classico kept everyone entertained with the newest in African music from artists such as Davido, Sarkodie and Wizkid.
African Fashion Week Toronto continues to grow into a must attend event in the GTA every summer.