African Fashion Week events declare new kind of style

This September, Arise Magazine — an arts-and-culture publication specializing in the African fashion scene — will hold its third annual “Made in Africa” show, a collective showcase of high-end clothing by some of Africa’s most popular designers.

During its showcase at the exclusive Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York, the show promises cultural extravaganzas and a performance by Leona Lewis to cap the evening.

Another African Fashion Week held in New York over the summer is still garnering media attention as well. In July, a new generation of African designers took the New York fashion scene by storm in an event called Africa Fashion Week New York.

Organized by Adiat Disu of Adiree Fashion Agency, AFWNY allowed nearly 30 designers of African descent, including Project Runway’s Korto Momolu, to exhibit their creations in front of the global fashion media. From couture ball gowns and eclectic cocktail dresses to snazzy accessories and printed casual-wear, the pieces shown presented the fashion world with a celebration of African heritage unlike any other.

“The moment you think you’ve defined what Africa fashion is, expect for it to be redefined,” said Disu in an interview with CNN’s Isha Sesay.  She also spoke of her hopes for the future of African fashion: “I want boutiques and buyers to take us seriously, as designers from Africa looking to be showcased in stores.”

Click here for pictures of collections showcased in AFWNY.