Fashion4Africa ‘How We began’
Fashion4Africa Started the UK in 2009 launched 1st May 2010 in London at the Old Finsbury Town Hall in Clerkenwell with festival DJ Eric Soul, comedian Edi Kadi and Reuben P Joseph.
The event was a mixture of music, dance and catwalk fashion. We had anticipated an audience of 150 however a record 500 people turned up in the rain. The atmosphere was phenomenal you could hear a pin drop when the kora player performed on stage to a melodic acoustic sound.
The Fashion4Africa showcase a fundraising initiative that was inspired by a cultural study into African tourism helped to identify the amazing potential within the modern African textiles industries, African fashion, culture music and arts from all states of the continent. Fashion4Africa Designers competition took a stunning entrant into the fashion showcase industry when the curtain for the culturally infused African event was pulled open.
The diverse African fashion competition event divulged another phase of Africa’s unending fashion creativity. As the designers displayed the extension of their heritage and culture through creative infusion with the vogue contemporary trend, the judges of which included legendary fashion practitioners and critics took their time to spot the criteria desired in meeting the goals and aims of Fashion4Africa Designers competition. For the Judges, the event was another journey into the creative African minds and fingers. They found it extremely difficult to spot out a winner as all six contesting designers had some unique creation that you just had to adore.
“Every designer here tonight is a winner but because we have just one Trophy and one collection of prizes to give, one of the designers will definitely have to go home as the 2010 Fashion 4 Africa Designer of the Year,” said one of the judges.
Past winners in UK
A successful 2017 comeback took place at the prestigious Somerset House where the current Fashion4Africa ambassador Niki Moyo won the ‘Designer of the Year’. The male Face of Fashion4africa was won by Alfredo Carriera part of the boy band Carriera 3 who is now one the judges on the BBC TV hit show ‘ All together Now’ Captained by Gerry Halliwell former Spice Girl. The Female Face of Fashion4Africa won by Ndey Manneh now a professional commercial model.
The Face of Fashion4Africa UK 2010 hosted at the Africa Centre Covent Garden’s Kings Street. We showcased Iteun bassi, Bot I Lam, Asake Agoro, Maureen Amooti. The competition was one won by Samira Hashi (Somalian) who went to become an activist against FGM, Yvonne Akwetey who went on to feature in popular music video productions and Sade Ademosu became the brand ambassador for Massassi Batique fashion. Photo-shoots by Karl Lake were featured in New African Woman, Promota Magazine and several online blogs from 2011-2012
The 3 winners from the Fashion4Africa UK designer of the year 2010 event were Grace Emodi (Nigeria) label Uchenna London, Asake Agoro (Nigeria) label as her name, Maureen Amooti (Uganda)Label as her name.
They all went on to do extraordinary activities Grace expanded her workshop to a small factory, Asake Agoro went on to other international catwalks and win awards and Maureen Amooti went on to design costumes for the film industry.
Past winners in The Gambia
2016 Face of Fashion4Africa was hosted in the Gambia and was won by Jariatou Touray. Touray won a Thousand-pound prize to study her passion to become a Beauty Therapist at the SASS Academy School of Beauty and Cosmetology. The male category won by twin Omar Ann signed on to Linguere & Damel model agency and went on to appear in The Fashion Weekend Gambia 2016 show with ‘Samson Soboye’.
2013 March-May 2016 Fashion4Africa went into a partnership with The Daily Observer Newspaper and started a column to give a voice to the creatives such as models, designers, photographers, artists to highlight the value of their work and contribution to the economy, community and society at large in The Gambia, the Gambian Diaspora and occasionally featuring articles on creatives in neighboring African countries. We hosted pop up showcasing Contemporary African fashion at the Candid Arts Center London 2013-2014.
2013 F4A photo shoots appeared in several fashion and beauty magazines including FAB, Black Hair and Oh Yes Fashion Magazine.
In 2011 we ventured into The Gambia signing up over 70 hopefuls in our first casting and debuted Face of Fashion4Africa in 2012. It was another amazing turn out choreographed by Sola Oyebade flown in from Nigeria, Karl Lake flown in from UK, Chilel Du Bois a Gambian flown in from UK and the Diva DJ Homeboy flown in from UK to make one of the most successful and talked about Fashion show and model competition in the Gambia to date! The competition was won by Nyanya Gaye who went on to be a star at various Gambian fashion shows and Ibrahim Ceesay who secured a job with Gambia Bird airlines as an air steward quoting F4A being the reason in various media interviews.
Fashion4Africa back for 2019