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Celebrity faces-Get your Glad Rags on Africa Fashion Week London.

Summary: The infamous British summer may still be elusive as we go to press, but the good news is that the hottest fashion extravaganza -- the Africa Fashion Week London -- is fast approaching. Once again, for the third year running, the British capital is set to be fashionably engulfed with African colour, trends and must-have catwalk pieces.

The biggest African fashion week outside of Africa, Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL), was established by Ronke Ademiluyi to provide a platform for emerging designers to enable them to reach wider audiences and international media while garnering established designers' support.

The debut event in 2011 was held in London's Bishopsgate, attracting 4,700 guests over two days; the second event in 2012 offered a festival of African designs, tastes and sounds in the openair set up of London's Spitalfields in the hip and happening borough of Shoreditch at the height of last year's London Olympic and captured the attention of world's leading media, from the Financial Times to BBC China, from the UK's third-biggest paper the Metro to your very own New African Woman.

"Stalls, filled with descriptive banter, laughter, merchants with vivid merchandise - all African and African influenced and in London's Spitalfields - was a gasp-catching festival and feast for eyes and senses" is how one reviewer described last year's event.

This year's event is from 1-3 August at Old Truman Brewery, once again in Shoreditch. Now spread over three days and with a final private event, the African Arts and Fashion Banquet on 4 August at The Dorchester hotel on exclusive Park Lane, Africa Fashion Week London is fast becoming an unmissable event on the Afropolitan calendars.

This is not all of course. This year's event will host over 100 designers on the runway and over 100 exhibitors in the vast interior space of Old Truman Brewery's F Block. It will also see Kemuto Couture, House of Farrah, Yutees and Afrofashion all returning to the AFWL runway alongside debuts by the likes of Nigeria's Zizi Cardow.

Joining forces with the creative team to keep the runway models groomed and gorgeous will be the official hair sponsor MIZANI, L'Oreal's premium professional haircare range for Afro Caribbean and mixed-race hair textures.

AFWL 2013 also has on board some leading names from the worlds of art, business, fashion and music as patrons and ambassadors. Mrs. Fifi Ejindu, the Nigeria-based architect and businesswoman and Yinka Shonibare MBE, the London-based, globally celebrated Nigerian fine artist, are among the high-profile names lending their support as patrons.

Meanwhile, model and philanthrophist Menaye DonkorMuntari returns for a second year as celebrity ambassador, a role she is this year sharing with the equally gorgeous and talented Noisettes frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa and another model and philantrophist, Noella Coursaris Musunka.

On her appointment as AFWL Ambassador 2013, second-time ambassador Donkor-Muntari said: "I am so excited to be chosen as an ambassador for the African Fashion Week London for a second year running and know that it will be the biggest and brightest showcase of the beautiful fashion from our continent to date! Fashion has given us all the opportunity to share our different cultures and styles with the rest of the world and this year I am looking forward to seeing bold and original designs that really define the spirit and creativity of Africa."

As London prepares to put her glad rags on for the traditional two-week British summer, which hopefully will coincide with AFWL, Ronke Ademiluyi and her team are hard at work to bring yet another festival of sights, sounds, tastes, designs and fabrics of Africa to London and make this third edition an even bigger success, not just for the team but for the whole of African fashion. n

Celebraties, from the top, Menaye DonkorMuntari, Noella Coursaris and Shingai Shoniwa re all AFWL Ambassadors

"Fashion has given us all the opportunity to share our different cultures and styles with the rest of the world... I am looking forward to seeing bold and original designs," Menaye Donkor

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Publication:New African Woman
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Jun 18, 2013
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