The Broad Street Ballroom in New York City was filled with guests as the runway flowed with gorgeous models in some of Africa’s best designs. You could tell that many designers drew inspiration from their particular country or their love of classic pieces. No matter the inspiration the crowd was glued to the different textures, colors and patterns that graced the runway.
Africa Fashion Week New York (AFWNY) 2012 was held July 12th-14th, showcasing many designers including Mesanga Fashion House, Studio D-Maxsi, Farai Simoyi, Agama Label, Allex Kangala, and Henna Flower, just to name a few.
Many designers such as Mesanga Fashion House of Cameroon and Farai Simoyi of Zimbabwe drew inspiration from their native countries.
“The inspiration behind the collection was that the ecosystem is getting all crazy and it’s becoming so hot, that I wanted women to just feel free in something natural. I didn’t want to have something on the runway that no one can relate to” said Mesanga.
The Mesanga Fashion House Collection was truly for the everyday woman that loves to wear shorts, capris and dresses. Turquoise dominated her collection with a yellow print. Many of her pieces included a beaded necklace that draped across the back adding a beautiful detail.
( Above: Mesanga Fashion House collection)
Designer Farai Simoyi stated that her “The Silk Road” collection was inspired by “…the influences of Chinese culture and Zimbabwean culture. Dating back to the 15th century there were a lot of trade routes, the primary one was called the Silk Road between China and Zimbabwe. Researchers went to Zimbabwe and they are excavating the grounds of this area called the Great Zimbabwe. They found pieces of Chinese porcelain embedded in the mud of the walls, so it just goes to show that even back then Zimbabweans loved Chinese culture and that’s why I wanted to incorporate a lot the blues, the Chinese porcelain, the turquoise colors, sort of bring that to light and that’s what brought the Silk Road (collection) together.”
The Farai Simoyi collection executed the vision perfectly with the use of satin turquoise, gold, teals, fuchsia and lace detail. The pieces ranged from classy jackets with pants, elegant evening gowns to flirty dresses. The chic woman that loves color and texture was represented in each piece.
(Above: Farai Simoyi Collection)
AFWNY 2012 was full of different designers that represented culture, fashion and talent through beautiful designs. With there being so many designs showcased it is hard to choose a favorite. Check out some of the other designers below and let us know who your favorite is.
(Above: lll La-la- Designs)
(Above: Sheaffa Delince)
(Above: Vanessa Mukasa)