Fashion is a loudspeaker which can be used to highlight current affairs and emulate trends in society. Fashion has soft power and unites people from diverse backgrounds through heritage, self-expression and creativity. African Fashion International will open its Fashion Week experience on the 10th of October with the highly billed African Fashion Unites show. The show will be a tantalizing fusion of African cuisine and music which will accompany a Pan African fashion showcase with designers; Christie Brown (Ghana), Maxhosa (SA), Gavin Rajah (SA), Eric Raisina (Madagascar), Mai Atafo (Nigeria), Kahindo Mateena (DRC/USA), Laurence Airline (Ivory Coast), KLûK CGDT (SA), Moshions (Rwanda) and Neo Serati (SA).
The opening show will see performances from renowned artists such as Cassper Nyovest, Femi Kuti and the highly popular Ndlovu Youth Choir, with a special Pan African menu designed by Chef Coco of Epicure Restaurant.
The Motsepe Foundation in a call for Africans to unite will support the African Fashion Unites show. The Foundation, which focuses on programs in tertiary education, Women’s empowerment, support of small-scale farmers and SMEs, has in the past promoted initiatives that promote social cohesion viz Global Citizens Concert amongst others.
“Africa belongs to Africans” declares Executive Chairman of AFI, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe. “The continent needs to unite in its diversity.”
With six of the fastest-growing economies in the world hailing from Africa and the youth population estimated to reach 300 million by 2030, the economic growth and development of the African continent through local production and consumption could see a self-sufficient continent, with a substantial reduction in poverty levels. Add technology and innovation in this picture and the future looks promising for Africa.
“AFI believes in the promise of Africa. With the recently concluded continent-wide AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area), the continent has a large enough market to increase intra-African trade” Says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
The creative industries, including the fashion and clothing sector which is estimated at $2.4Trillion globally and $31Billion in Sub-Saharan Africa, will seize major market share as local consumers forgo highly taxed imports and embrace locally produced, good quality, unique and competitively priced clothing.
“The creative sector can create jobs along its value chain, with collaboration between countries and using the expertise and local knowledge that exist on the continent. This will go a long way to reducing current high unemployment levels especially amongst women and youth” says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
AFI plans to grow its AFI Boutique and will offer a digital platform to further enhance designer sales and support their businesses.