Each summer, African Fashion Week descends upon Toronto, Canada with the latest in African designers, trends, and models from all over the continent and beyond. The event, held at the Royal Ontario Museum, also includes networking events and competitions. This year’s African Fashion Week began on Wednesday, August 16 and continues until Sunday, August 20.
The events kicked off with a design competition in which seven student designers competed to win the opportunity to show their designs on the runway. On Thursday and Friday, the pros stepped up for a high fashion showcase of their most recent works. Akonua Kouture revealed several women’s wear designs that manage to marry functionality and style, while House of Ruth showcased innovative bridal designs. Though women’s wear was a definite highlight, menswear designers made their mark as well — on Friday, Fari Hara showed several beautifully tailored, colorful suits. Designers come from Nigeria, Tanzania, Morocco, Toronto, New York and other locations.
On Saturday, the showcases continue with appearances from ZNA K, Nique x Boutique, Diana Magesa, Eaden Myles, Ofuure, and Adebayo Jones. After the final designers head down the runway on Saturday night, the week concludes with the African Fashion Industry Awards. One designer that audiences can’t wait to see? Adebayo Jones. The London-based Nigerian designer is nicknamed the “King of Couture,” and is known for creating extravagant, highly detailed gowns and other women’s wear designs. Jones has been in the fashion industry for over 30 years, and his designs have been featured on runways around the world. As the last designer to head down the runway at African Fashion Week, Jones serves as the finale of the showcase.
After feasting your eyes on all of these beautiful designs, you might be inspired to try your own hand at fashion design. If so, you’re in luck — fashion week attendees can head to a free sewing workshop at the Royal Ontario Museum on Sunday. Afterward, the week closes with a day party to celebrate all the designers’ achievements.