Fashion & Lifestyle

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 15:02

A celebration of Africa’s unique fashion sense and style

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A celebration of Africa’s unique fashion sense and style

Johannesburg, South Africa, 20 August 2017 - Celebrating a decade of African fashion excellence, African Fashion International’s (AFI) Fashion Week extravaganza took to the runway at the luxurious Mall of Africa on Thursday night. Adding to the celebration and festivities was the announcement that Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe has been nominated as the first recipient of the Fashion 4 Development Franca Sozzani Award. 

This highly prestigious international award commemorates the late Franca Sozzani, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, whose passion and commitment played a key part in promoting fashion as an engine of transformation and economic development as well as creativity. 

Nominated by Franca Sozzani’s son, Emmy Award-nominated film director Francesco Carrozzini, and Norway’s HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit, the award celebrates Dr Moloi-Motsepe’s “considerable efforts in connecting, creating and promoting African fashion designers, and opening up new avenues for disadvantaged women.” 

The award will be presented at Fashion 4 Development’s Seventh Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon. This will take place during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the historic Pierre Hotel in New York City on Tuesday 19 September 2017.   

The event will be hosted by Fashion 4 Development President and Founder, Evie Evangelou and Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco-Age, and features a runway show with fabulous creations from Elie Saab. AFI will also be running a parallel event in the hotel showcasing some of the exceptional talent and designs from around Africa. 

This high level gathering unites First Ladies, Diplomats, Fashion VIPs and other key influencers from around the globe to recognize and celebrate the unprecedented cooperation between Diplomacy and Fashion for the greater good of Women and Children worldwide.

 “Over the past decade African fashion has transformed on a global scale. I am so proud and privledged to have played a key role in recognising and celebrating our history and heritage through our passion for fashion and all things African”, says Dr Moloi-Motsepe. 

From the very beginning, I focused on building a world-class platform for African designers. A fasion platform that promotes African creativity and innovation. A platform that showcases all that Africa has to offer, in all its abundance, uniqueness, authenticity and style”. “Fashion is a hugely forward-looking business so we would be remiss if we did not spot and foster the talents in the next generation,” says Dr Moloi-Motsepe. “Beyond our Fashion Weeks, AFI strongly pursues development programmes, including its own AFI Fastrack™ and AFI NextGen™.” 

“I am truly honoured to be nominated for the inaugural Franca Sozzani Award, it’s an award I share with all my colleagues, clients, designers and fashion creatives in Africa,” says Dr Moloi-Motsepe.“They inspired me to become a true pioneer of luxury African fashion. To create, co-create, develop and grow a global audience that recognises and rewards Africa’s creativity, ingenuity and craftmanship.Through the establishment of AFI, Dr Moloi-Motsepe has played an invaluable role in the fashion industry, elevating and propelling local designers into the international fashion arena. AFI has proudly collaborated and partnered with some of Africa’s rising stars to launch international careers in New York, Paris and London.

These include David Tlale, Thula Sindi, Rich Mnisi, Eleni Labrou and Tuelo Nguyuza to mention a few. Dr Moloi-Motsepe’s AFI initiatives have also caught the attention of the international fashion elite – from legendary fashion guru Suzy Menkes, International Editor of Vogue Online, and Fern Mallis creator of New York Fashion Week, to the late Franca Sozzani who dedicated a whole issue of Vogue Italia to showcasing African designers and models.

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About AFI
African Fashion International (AFI) was established to market African talents and ignite local and international attention towards the African fashion industry. The company led the way by introducing desperately needed international platforms to showcase authentic African brands; through its Fashion Week platforms in Joburg and Cape Town. 

Within its development strategy, AFI’s Fastrack™ initiative identifies and invests in the best of the continent’s young designers, by providing them with direct access to: mentorships, media exposure and business acumen, through yearling programmes that prepare them in navigating the fashion landscape.

In addition to this development platform, AFI’s Young Designer of the Year competition annually rewards outstanding new talent, with the annual winners and runners-up going on to run their own fashion businesses. Over the past six years, AFI’s Fastrack™ incubator programme has so far assisted in developing the careers of 75 new talents. 

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