As the world lens zooms in on Africa as an emerging market, the beat of the African drum beats louder as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) gives nod to the inaugural Kinshasa Fashion Week, due to take place from 26-28 July at the Shark Club in Kinshasa.
?The international fashion community?s gaze is shifting more and more towards Africa. With Kinshasa Fashion Week, I want to ensure that Congolese designers are part of the action,? says Gloria Mteyu, Executive Director of Kinshasa Fashion Week. Fashion in Africa has been on a steady rise and has certainly enjoyed its earned recognition by the international community, with renowned fashion designers such as David Tlale of South Africa; Ozwald Boateng of Ghana; Deola Sagoe of Nigeria continuing to substantiate that Africa is a continent rich with creative talent and design skill. Two of Africa?s shining lights, South Africa?s David Tlale and Alain Naiva from C?te d?Ivoire, will ascend to the DRC to headline a line-up that?s decorated with Congolese distinguished designers such as Renzo, Okasol, Carine Para and others. ?
?As a designer whose talent has been developed and nurtured on this continent, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride each time I?m invited to showcase my talent on the African catwalks. No one tells an authentic African story better than the Africans themselves. Through our designers, the West and the East embark on a beautiful journey of our various cultures and heritage,? says David Tlale.
?As an ambassador for Vlisco, it gives me great pleasure to showcase at Kinshasa Fashion Week to promote the African design aesthetic. I am also excited to share my knowledge and skills with emerging designers in the Congo. I use African prints throughout my collection including accessories such as matching handbags and believe that the ladies of Kinshasa will be lining up to buy it!? says Alain Naiva.
Sought-after Namibian-born, international show producer, Jan Malan of Umzingeli Productions has been tasked with producing Kinshasa Fashion Week.
?The Congo becomes the 18th country in Africa where I will be staging a fashion event since 1996. I?m excited to finally add the Congo to the list in my quest to continue to unearth the amazing fashion talent that is in Africa.? says Jan Malan.
With a powerhouse of creative experts and a stellar line-up of artists such as Fally Ipupa behind its start, Kinshasa Fashion Week is bound to have an exciting debut on the African fashion landscape.
Tickets are available at the Shark Club.