The second edition of Africa Fashion Show Geneva organised by Crucible Events and Planners (CEP) proved a huge success bringing together designers and creatives all over the continent on Friday 30 May and Saturday 31 May 2014 to celebrate African arts, fashion and culture over two days.
The first day of the event on the lush Château des Penthes grounds commenced with a fashion show and diverse entertainment from the continent. Nigerian rapper Babatunde not only opened the show with an electric performance but was also but was also the master of ceremony through the evening introducing other acts, Mckizee who treated the crowd to a taste of Afro Funk and Curtis who put on an astounding roller skate show to the sounds of Afrobeats.
The fashion was just as fascinating with vibrant prints by Tanzania’s Malleni, Ghana’s Manyeyo and Cuba’s EmmaFor by way of Guinea who blended the colours and patterns of Cuba and Africa in her ‘Metisse’ collection, gorgeous kaftans for both men and women from Moroccan label A la Pointe du Caftan, eclectic looks from Burundi’s Cy’Mun and dapper menswear by Nigeria’s Baldon Clothiers. Face of Tanzania 2011 runner-up and the winner of Miss Earth Tanzania 2011 title, Neema Kilango and the catwalk choreographer and creative director himself, UK-based Julius Reuben, also the man behind the risqué jumpsuit in Tiwa Savage’s controversial new video, also joined the Swiss models and took the runway by storm.
Attended by the members of the Swiss diplomatic and business community as well as African ambassadors and country representative and prominent Swiss press and bloggers, the event also provided a beautiful setting for cocktails and networking in the verdant gardens of Domain du Penthes overlooking Lake Geneva.
“Despite the many hurdles as is often the case with events of this scale, we crossed the finish line in grand style!” said Tayo Omotola, CEO of Crucible Events and founder of Africa Fashion Show Geneva who took to the runway at the end of the evening to give a note of thanks to her team and the guests.
On Saturday, 31 May 2014, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Geneva played host to a grander affair as VIP guests were treated to pre-show cocktails where they had the chance to view art from the “Here Africa” art exhibition organised by Art for the World (AFTW) and beautiful designs by one of Nigeria’s leading fashion designers Deola Sagoe who could not attend but sent her best wishes for the event.
Opening the show was A la Pointe du Caftan with even more opulent kaftans followed by pretty prints from EmmaFor. After buffet dinner offering guests a taste of African cuisine and more opportunities for networking, the runway continued with some show-stopping evening looks from Tanzania’s Malleni Designs and gorgeous eveningwear by Manyeyo. Nigeria’s Baldon not only brought smart looks for men on the runway but also joined the #Bringbackourgirls campaign fashionably with a series of t-shirts sporting the hashtag which got standing ovation from the guests.
Last but not least, with a spectacular grand finale was the Brazilian designer Tony Palha from Fashion Inclusive Brazil, an AFSG partner. Just in time for the World Cup taking place in his homeland, Palha celebrated the link between Africa the Amazon and the diversity of Brazil with his glamorous collection ‘Afroamazonica’.
The gala evening had another surprise for the guests before the end of the night in the shape of the Grammy award winning legendary former Rose Royce lead singer, Gwen Dickey (aka Rose Norwalt) who flew in from the UK to entertain the guests with some classics including “Carwash” and “Wishing on a Star”.
“It’s a new era in fashion, Geneva is rebranding itself by embracing appreciating African roots, culture, art and fashion. Working with local models, artists and businesses, AFSG 2014, the largest event in the Geneva region, showed the finest of Africa’s talents in arts, music and fashion,” said Tayo Omotola. When asked about future plans, she added, “Now in its second year, we hope to be a magnet for promoting masterpieces by leading and upcoming fashion designers across Africa.”
The sponsors and partners for the event include Art for the World, Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique, Jubrila Ayinla Foundation and and Tasteehub Nigeria and the media partners are Africalink, BOS International Magazine, 360Nobs, Bella Naija and Made in Africa.
As well as handling the international publicity, S TWO Media also provided in house photography, videography, creative direction and styling for Africa Fashion Show Geneva with the team flying in from London.