June 16, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

African creativity flows at Dakar Fashion Week

By María Rodríguez

Dakar, Jun 9 (efe-epa).- Beyond inspiring fashion on other continents, Africa has its own designers who have been able to show off their creativity in the Senegalese capital at the Dakar Fashion Week.

When Adama Paris, a Senegalese designer who showcases African fashion on the runway and in stores in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, landed in Dakar at the age of 22, she was surprised to find her country didn’t hold a fashion week.

The designer, who has on several occasions been considered one of Africa’s most influential women, was born in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and studied in France.

“As I had come from France I was surprised there wasn’t a Fashion Week in Dakar like there are in Paris and in other places and I said to myself ‘I’m going to create it,’” she told Efe.

And after 17 years, the event has become a success.

Every year, African designers descend on Dakar, coming from countries all over the continent and other parts of the world to present their latest creations.

AFRICAN FASHION CANNOT BE DEFINED

“African fashion is fashion created by Africans. It doesn’t matter if its an evening dress or a tunic. It’s the fashion that Africans want to create,” Paris said.

African fashion cannot be defined, according to Paris. “Africa is a continent that is bigger than Europe, not one country.

“We don’t talk about European fashion, we talk about Spanish, or Italian. Why don’t we talk about Senegalese fashion or Ivorian?” the designer asked.

At the Pullman hotel in Dakar's central Independence Square, the work of eight designers from different African countries were presented to an audience, who digested the shows with interest and curiosity.

From June 5-9, the clothes of about 30 designers from Congo, Niger, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya and Morocco, among others, were presented in the Senegalese capital.

“African fashion is not necessarily what Europe thinks,” Paris said, referring to stereotypes and reflecting on what is and what isn’t considered African fashion.

PRIORITIZING AFRICAN CREATORS

The runway has changed over the years.

In the beginning, designers from all over the world were invited, but in the last 10 years, although nobody is excluded, African designers are given priority as a way of helping those who are just starting their careers.

This year saw some new faces, including Senegalese designer Maison Ramatoulaye Diop and Simone & Elise, two Ivorian designers.

As they got ready to present their clothes to the public, the Ivorian pair told Efe their creations represent African women as a whole, the ones who go to the market, into politics, those who go out to feed their families.

They said their brand pays homage to Marie-Thérèse Houphoët-Boigny, the wife of the first Ivorian president, a woman they described as “strong” and “elegant,” who “had nothing to envy of Jacqueline Kennedy or other icons of fashion.”

They have even created a dress called La Thérèse.

TWICE AS HARD

Congolese designer Liputa Swagga told the press that it is twice as hard being African and even more so when you’re a woman.

But Dakar Fashion Week is an opportunity to celebrate black beauty and the empowerment of black women, according to Paris.

“There are girls who ask me how I make money, if I’m married and if my husband is rich. I tell them to get some training, believe in their chances as women,” said the designer, who has set an example for many youths.

“I tell them they can be like me, work, earn money and above all get other women into work,” she added.

Besides founding Dakar Fashion Week, in 2010 she set up Black Fashion Week in various countries around the world, and in 2014 launched the Fashion Africa Channel, which is 100 percent dedicated to fashion.

The event collaborates with and has events taking place in high-end places in Dakar because for its founder, it’s important to show “beautiful Africa.”

“In Europe there’s a tendency to come here and show poverty. I, as a Senegalese person, aim to sell the best of Senegal.” EFE-EPA

mrgz/sh

News history
Village in Lebanon marks Cherry Day with abundant harvest

The village of Hammana, southeast of Beirut, Lebanon is known for its cherries blooming and has celebrated Cherry Day for fifty years.

Picasso show in China unravels the genius behind the artist

By Jesús Centeno

A fragile Notre Dame Cathedral holds first Mass since devastating fire

Paris, Jun 15 (efe-epa).- Two months after being devastated by fire, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris held its first Mass this Saturday in conditions still...

EuroPride goes out with a bang at Vienna parade

The EuroPride parade, a rally against the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people hosted in a different European city each...

Notre Dame of Paris to hold first mass since devastating fire in April

By Catalina Guerrero

Italian film, opera director Franco Zeffirelli dies aged 96

The day a US museum canceled an exhibit due to political pressure

By Alfonso Fernandez

Giant fresco unveiled at Eiffel Tower in support of SOS Mediterranean

Madrid Desk, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- A huge fresco of a line of clasped hands has been unveiled on Friday beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris in support of the...

New economics museum in Paris treats viewers to interactive, sensory show

By Claudia Zapater

Lim, Leon step down as French luxury fashion house Kenzo's creative directors

Paris, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- American designers Carole Lim and Humberto Leon are stepping down as creative directors of Kenzo Maison after eight years at the...

Facebook's new cryptocurrency gets new backers

By AnnaMaria Andriotis, Peter Rudegeair and Liz Hoffman

Christie's auction features treasures of Indian royalty

Nora Quintanilla

Art Basel launches in a bubble oblivious to crises, trade wars

By Antonio Broto

Facebook worries emails could show CEO knew of questionable privacy practices

By John D. McKinnon, Emily Glazer, Deepa Seetharaman and Jeff Horwitz

The Hague, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- A Syrian refugee who arrived in the Netherlands in 2016 has plastered the walls, furniture and ceiling of his small room with...

Montevideo, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- Anime and manga aficionados gathered once again this year in Uruguay's capital for J-pop karaoke and cosplay contests...

Mexican gov't accuses fashion label Carolina Herrera of plagiarism

Madrid, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- A new collection by luxury fashion label Carolina Herrera inspired by different Latin American holidays has sparked a complaint...

'Tolkien,' a glimpse into the writer's imagination

By Paula Baena Velasco

Activists call for boycott of Thai zoo over alleged animal mistreatment

Bangkok, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Wednesday called for a boycott of a zoo in Thailand after a video...

Festival of historical reconstruction seeks to slow hectic Moscow life

Moscow, Jun 11 (efe-epa).- History has been brought to life at a reconstruction festival in Moscow which has transformed the bustling Russian capital with...

Bartolomé Bermejo: Renaissance masterpieces exhibited in UK for first time

By Brenda Pérez Zapater

Greek haute cuisine, straddling modernity and tradition

By Ana Mora Segura

Halal surfing: Web browser targets 1.8 billion Muslim followers

By Noel Caballero

Ubisoft shows off "Watch Dogs: Legion" at E3 preview

By David Villafranca.

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.