CELEBRATING AFRICA: A slice of Africa’s culture and creativity are coming to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. On Friday, the launch of Arise Magazine, a new monthly title published by Nigerian newspaper ThisDay, will be marked with the African Fashion Collective 2009 fashion show at the Bryant Park tents. The event will highlight the work of four African designers or designer labels: Xuly Bët from Mali, Stoned Cherrie from South Africa and Nigeria’s Tiffany Amber and Momo. Each is expected to unveil 12 to 15 looks at the show.
“New York Fashion Week is one of the most preeminent fashion weeks in the world, and we thought it is the place to be at this time,” said ThisDay chairman and chief executive officer Nduka Obaigbena. “I think it’s about an opportunity.…Africa has been under-reported and under-recognized. Meanwhile, so many big talents have African origins. We think it’s time Africa gets the rightful recognition in the global cultural landscape, and its fashion contribution is one of them.”
Arise, which features Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede and Alek Wek on its launch cover, is dedicated to African accomplishments in business, politics, fashion, music and overall culture, and is being sold in cities such as New York, London and Paris. President Barack Obama will be featured on the cover of the next issue.
Before the show, Obaigbena will hand the first Arise/ThisDay Icon of Style Award to Bethann Hardison.
Obaigbena plans to return next season. “We are happy to be in New York, and a part of the landscape and to show talent, excellence and creativity coming out of Africa, both in terms of the magazine and in terms of the designers,” he said. — Marc Karimzadeh