African fashion has moved beyond the borders of the continent and spread into a worldwide movement. While in recent years, we have seen a prevalence of designs and prints weaved into American fashion as well as celebs on red carpets, it has been a staple in the industry for years. For high fashion, Yves Saint Laurent (born in Algeria) was heavily inspired by North African fashion and dedicated his Spring/Summer 1967 to Africa. African fashion has been a staple in the US Black community, unsurprisingly, as clothes can often be a way of connecting to a place many will never be able to travel.
Emerge! Fashion Show highlighted the designers and requested that HB Alum, Danielle James, host the event. New York Fashion Week can cost up to $250,000.00 to show as a designer. Dionne Williams, founder of Emerge! Fashion Show provided a platform for African designers to show and this was the first time these designers had shown a collection in the United States. Hundreds of designers have applied to show at this prestigious event, which also awards a Fashion Innovator Award at each presentation. Past awardees have included André Leon Talley, contributing editor of Vogue (presented to him by Diane Von Furstenberg), Constance C.R. White, Former Editor in Chief of Essence Magazine (presented to her by CFDA designer, Tracy Reese), to name a few. This year, Fern Mallis, the founder of New York Fashion Week and former Executive Director of the CFDA was presented with the award by fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra (just shortly after his New York Fashion Week show).
Emerge! showcased womenswear, menswear, luxury shoes, and women’s accessories. The brands represented were the following womenswear brands: VanVorsh, Yetroselane Couture and Nyonuvi. The menswear brands included Clarence Clottey and Senyo Foli. Catou Designs showcased both menswear and womenswear. The Wearable Art Collective showed off impressive women’s accessories, while Muggs Jewellery introduced jewelry for both men and women. Jesu Segun presented the African take on luxury shoes.
Keep clicking to get see these designs up close! Which looks are your favorite?