TWO of Africa’s top emerging designers – Taibo Bacar from Mozambique, Paris-based, Cote D’Ivoire-born, Laurence Airline – and South African Tourism Designer of the Year, Tula Sindi, will present a showing of their collections at the International Herald Tribune (IHT) Luxury Conference being held in Rome, November 15-16.
Along with Tula Sindi, the designers were also winners at the recent Africa Fashion Awards – Bacar for Best Emerging Designer Africa, Airline for Best Emerging Designer International – which were part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa held in Johannesburg, South Africa, last month.
Along with 30 of Africa and the African diaspora’s top designers, Mercedes-Benz Fashion week Africa attracted 10 000 media, buyers and entrepreneurs from around the world.
The premier annual event for business and creative leaders from across the global luxury goods industry, this year the IHT Luxury Conference has turned its attention to Africa and will provide essential and compelling analysis of one of the world’s most promising and exciting continents while examining its relationship to the Mediterranean countries and its importance to the luxury and fashion industry.
Along with the collection showings, Africa’s spot at this internationally-renowned conference will also include a presentation on the commercial viability and growing interest in African fashion by Africa Fashion International (AFI) executive chairperson, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
“The world is waking up to Africa’s huge potential as both a producer of beautiful handiwork and luxury goods as well as being an emerging luxury goods market, powered by a steady growth of its middle class and the entrepreneurial harnessing of talent,” says Dr Moloi-Motsepe who will join other speakers from Africa in presenting to an audience of fashion influencers, entrepreneurs and luxury specialists.
Johannesburg-based, Africa Fashion International is the continent’s largest organization promoting African fashion and, in its three fashion weeks – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa, Joburg and Cape Town – seeks to make African fashion both globally and locally relevant while opening up markets to the continent’s design, apparel, arts and crafts.
“Invitation to participate in the IHT Luxury Conference is a significant opportunity for the African fashion industry to platform Africa while networking with influential luxury brand decision-makers. It’s an exciting prospect for us to not only present our unique African design aesthetic but show its global potential,” adds Dr. Moloi-Motsepe.
Mercedes-Benz, title sponsor of AFI’s fashion week, secured participation and a fully sponsored trip for both Emerging Designers of the year, Taibo Bacar and Laurence Airline to the IHT Luxury Conference, presenting African Fashion at its best. Mercedes-Benz also sponsors numerous fashion weeks in other prestigious fashion
capitals of the world.
“We are particularly excited to have provided the designers with the opportunity to gain international exposure and are confident that AFI and our winners will do us proud in helping elevate the African fashion industry to new heights,” says Claudia Mende, Marketing Manager, Mercedes-Benz South Africa.