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Inside Lagos Fashion Week’s Focus on Growing Pan-African Design at Home                 

At the recent Lagos Fashion Week, designers from across the continent gathered to showcase their latest collections. While established brands were still very much in attendance, there was a new focus on promoting emerging talents and cultivating a Pan-African design community. New names on the schedule included Ivorian designer Aristide Lour, founder of Kente Gentleman; Kenya’s Lilabare; and Ghanaian minimalism brand Ajabeng. Returning heavyweights including Orange Culture, Iamisigo, Emmy Kasbit, Elie Kuame, Sisano and Ugo Monye put on a spectacle, thinking outside of the traditional runway with theatrical performances and live singers. Standout moments include Kente Gentlemen’s show inspired by Robin Givens’s performance in the 1992 film Boomerang to Malian designer Awa Meité’s trunk shows hosted by Lagos’s biggest luxury retailer Alara.