Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) staying true to its African heritage in conjunction with Lagos State Government, will be holding the 2017 edition on the 3rd & 4th of June at an iconic Nigerian venue – the National Arts Theatre Lagos, where Africa’s culture was showcased in all its grandeur and splendour 40 years ago when Nigeria hosted the World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77) .
Founder of the AFWN, Ronke Ademiluyi stated the long-term growth of the fashion industry is grounded on developing initiatives to ensure that Nigeria remains the centre of fashion and a leader at the forefront of creativity, style, and innovation which is why the best of Africa’s emerging and established fashion talents will be showcasing at this historic monument to reflect the dynamism of African fashion and a reflection of our roots.
This new location fulfills the much-desired goal to host a Fashion Week in a location that is a true representation of our continent. The AFWNigeria 2017 theme ‘Celebrating the Vibrant Pulse of Africa’, dedicated to Africa’s colourful and rich heritage, is aimed at bringing spunk and new energy to style and fashion across the continent. The exciting venue for the 2017 edition, dubbed ‘the powerhouse of AFWN’, has been tried and tested from the resounding success of the first-ever iconic catwalk shows held in April. The Theatre space offers the freedom and flexibility to transform it to the required aesthetics.
Honourable Adebimpe Akinsola, the Acting commissioner for Culture, Arts & Tourism in a recent interview said “The use of an iconic monument like the National Theatre as the venue for a fashion show, is a welcome innovative idea and is in line with the State’s drive to promote the tourism, entertainment, and the creative arts industry. This move by Africa Fashion Week will generate positive interest in one of the most important iconic locations in Lagos state.”
Commissioned in 1976 in preparation for the World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977, the National Theatre, was designed and constructed by Bulgarian construction company Technoexportsroy. Its design bears a close resemblance to the Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna, Bulgaria, though the National Arts Theatre is much bigger. Its exterior is shaped like a military hat and it has a 5,000-seater Main Hall with a collapsible stage, and two capacity cinema halls, all of which are equipped with facilities for simultaneous translation of over 20 languages among other facilities.
This architectural masterpiece also known as the culture house represents one of the great symbols in Nigeria arts and culture. Spanning an area of about 23,000 square meters and standing well over 31 meters tall, the multipurpose National Theatre was established for the preservation, presentation, and promotion of Arts and Culture in Nigeria. The theatre was purpose built to allow for flexibility of use of both its internal and external facilities. The daring move to the mainland sees AFWNigeria increasing its footprint across the capital and marks the next stage in the evolution of the annual event and the fashion industry in Nigeria.
Aiki Odiawa Chief Operating Officer of AFWNigeria, also noted, “The decision to host this year’s fashion week at this iconic location is a conscious effort to take our guest on a nostalgic journey of the best of the past and vibrant pulse of the future by using this venue as a point of reference. Recall that this is the same location that hosted the continent 40 years ago to FESTAC 77, a spectacular event that is yet to be rivaled in the continent to date.”
This year’s event promises to be something like never seen before in Nigeria, according to the show producer Bayo Haastrup and with support from partners and sponsors like Da Viva (principal sponsor), ABC English Wax, Acceleratetv, Rite foods, Biggie drinks, Unilever, Domino Pizza, Morsi Pr, and media partners across the globe (for a full list please visit our website).