Meet The Producers of LA Fashion Week: Africa Fashion & Art Week
Recently renamed Africa Fashion & Art Week, the series of events formerly known as Africa Fashion Week LA have brought an electric vibrancy to the Los Angeles Fashion Week continuum. In the process, they’ve promoted emerging talent while reinforcing what so many fashion enthusiasts have long known: the African continent is home to some of the world’s most exciting textile and color combinations, and continues to inspire designers on a truly global scale.
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Q: What is the history behind Africa Fashion & Art Week? When & how did it come about?
Africa Fashion & Art Week began in 2011, as Africa Fashion Week Los Angeles, when Nnenna Obioha and Onyinyechi Egeonuigwe sought to create a platform for emerging and established African talent in Los Angeles. In 2013, we partnered with the Papillion Institute of Art and have expanded our annual event to include artists as well as designers. The event is now called Africa Fashion & Art Week.
Q: What sets Africa Fashion & Art Week apart? Is there a “vision” or perhaps a mission?
Africa Fashion & Art Week brings some diversity to LA Fashion Week. Our designers offer a very unique and appealing perspective on fashion trends that need to be showcased. Our vision has always been to support and promote dynamic African talent and to help designers and artists grow their businesses.
[quote]Our vision has always been to support and promote dynamic African talent and to help designers and artists grow their businesses.[/quote]
Q: How have you seen Fashion Week in LA change over the past several years?
Since the departure of IMG, various local producers have stepped up to keep LA Fashion Week alive. We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in the past several years with LA Fashion Week offering a multitude of unique shows. It sets LA apart and we look forward to seeing continued growth.
[quote]LA Fashion Week offers a multitude of unique shows. It sets LA apart and we look forward to seeing continued growth.[/quote]
Q: What can we expect in the next few years? In the next 10?
It’s hard to say where fashion week can go in the next few years as it’s continuously changing, growing and evolving. However, I think it might be nice to see some type of unification between some of the shows; some partnerships between the different producers could be essential in the future.
[quote]Some partnerships between the different producers could be essential in the future.[/quote]
Q: What are your greatest challenges each year to continue the momentum / growth?
Our greatest challenge is financing. People have loved the idea of Africa Fashion & Art Week from its conception; however, it’s been difficult producing the show on the level we want without outside financial backing. Difficult, but not impossible. This is our baby and we love this event / project so much that we strive for continuous growth each year.
[quote]This is our baby and we strive for continuous growth each year.[/quote]
Q: How is LA Fashion Week unique from other global or U.S. shows?
The uniqueness comes from the independent shows that make up LA Fashion Week. There is no central show. This is the strength of LA Fashion Week but it can also be its weakness.
[quote]The uniqueness comes from the independent shows that make up LA Fashion Week.[/quote]
Q: Do you see the corporate partnerships as a “good thing” for LA / LA Fashion Week’s shows?
We definitely think it’s a good thing. Corporate partnerships / sponsorship allows the producers of these shows to gain the financial backing necessary to execute the show properly, and to also market these shows in such a way to attain a larger audience.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a producer of LA Fashion Week?
What we enjoy most is the audience’s reaction to our show. That is our biggest motivation. We love how excited they get to see all the elements of the show. We also love giving African designers and models a necessary platform to pursue their passions.
[quote]We love how excited the audience gets to see all the elements of the show.[/quote]
Q: What is your favorite city, color and accessory?
Nnenna – By far, one of my favorite cities in the world is Cape Town, South Africa. It has a great climate, is surrounded by awesome natural beauty, and there’s plenty of five-star dining and shopping. My favorite color is white and my favorite accessories are definitely handbags and / or jewelry. You can’t go wrong with a Chanel classic flap bag or a classic gold watch. : )
Onyinyechi – My favorite city is Los Angeles; I love it here. We have warm weather, lovely beaches and beautiful people. I love lots of different colors but my favorites are black and pink. Black looks good all year round, and pink is such a fun and flirty color. My favorite accessory is my smile, because it will never go out of style.