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African fashion evolves as DFA empowers young designers

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Models walking the runway with some African designer’s fabrics during DFA runway at Eko Hotel Victoria Island Lagos

Fashion in Nigeria and Africa at large has transcended over the years into wholesome creativity of diverse designs that are unparalleled all over the world. This uniqueness in fashion designs not only showcases Africa to the world at large but also depicts its roots, culture, background, and identity.

Based on this understanding, Design Fashion Africa (DFA), an empowerment ecosystem, recently presented a fashion hub for upcoming designers all over the continent to showcase their talents in Lagos.

As opposed to the conventional fashion shows, DFA which was co-founded by Oracle Experience and Jakaranda Productions, presented a 3-day fashion show that provided upcoming designers the ability to learn and unlearn the rhythms and ethics of fashion, showcase their talents, experience the world of designing, learn commercialisation of the industry as well as expand their knowledge on trade and fashion business globally.

With the objective to bridge the gap between the today and tomorrow of fashion industry is not just Nigeria but also Africa, Co-founder DFA Dr. Felix King said: “The ideology is to use DFA to unite Africa as one through fashion, which was why DFA opening ceremony kick-started with the display of the 54 flags from all the Africa countries in the continent. We used DFA as a hub where all of these African designers from around the continent showcase their local designs. However, the focus was to empower upcoming designers and create a platform for them to be discovered. The difference between success and failure is just an opportunity away” he enthused

The DFA show presented different phases for upcoming designers such as online challenge, boot-camp, fashion reality show, academy, market place for sales of outfits and fashion accessories, conferences, others.

With a thorough online selection process where designers came up with creative designs as related to Africa and submitted their sketches before being shortlisted for live screening where a total of ten candidates were eventually selected to attend the DFA boot camp.

King said: “Candidates were given training and task to test their creativity and ability to work under pressure. Eventually, three finalists emerged and went on to the final fashion show to display their collections and Jubril Abubakar emerged the winner of DFA 2019. What would have taken the 3-finalist of DFA about 15-years of hard work and input, took them a journey of two weeks to emerge the runway? So DFA is creating a room for opportunity for the upcoming young designers” he said.

The 24-year-old DFA winner Abubakar, who was overwhelmed with joy, was given the prize of 1million naira. He said: “Emerging winner of the DFA amongst other designers shortlisted on the runway is the greatest feeling ever”.


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