Highlights from ARISE Fashion Week & Music Festival 2023

Highlights from ARISE Fashion Week & Music Festival 2023

For three days between February 2 to 4, more than 25 designers from across the African continent and diaspora took to the Eko Hotel to present their latest collections on the runways of the ARISE Fashion Week & Music Festival in Lagos, Nigeria.

This year’s event, which kicks off the African fashion calendar, marks the 20th edition of the show since it was first established in 2007 by one of Nigeria’s biggest media groups, ThisDay. Since then, it has been one of the leading fashion events for showcasing the works of talented designers from the continent.

The theme of the event was “Future Forward”, inspired by the evolution of the African fashion landscape over the years and the direction it is moving in. “The collection I’m showcasing today is my take in the future, or like in the next 100 years,” said designer Abasiekeme Ukanireh, founder of Éki Kéré. “With all the environmental crises we are experiencing today, we’re only talking about what is happening today and what might happen in a couple of years, but we’re not really looking at what is probably going to happen in the next 100 years.”

Pepper Row at ARISE Fashion Week 2023
Pepper Row


This year’s designer line-up presented their collections to a diverse audience of industry professionals, buyers, press and the public. Among the designers who presented at the fashion show were industry veterans such as Lisa Folawiyo and Tiffany Amber, alongside talents from the new generation including KADIJU and OLOOH, as well as first-time presenters Ameer by Ameer, Mariya Sanusi and Syari Bespoke.

Nigerian brand Pepper Row opened the show on the first day of the event, with a collection that merges Africa’s rich heritage with modern influences, celebrating the craftsmanship of skilled artisans with a contemporary touch while BLOKE by Faith Oluwajimi moody, dark shades and woven textures rendered in overcoats and matching separates.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has been a vocal advocate for up-and-coming designers in the African fashion industry, made a surprise appearance as she walked the runways for British designer Bianca Saunders and Nigerian brand VicNate.

The second day of the event saw Malian designer Awa Meité present a collection comprised of handwoven fabrics that pay homage to the rich history of her homeland. Nigerian designer Frank Aghuno, creative director of Fruché, showed a range of highly crafted pieces that explored textures, proportions and color.


Naomi Campbell for VicNate      KADIJU at ARISE Fashion Week
Left: Naomi Campbell walking for VicNate. Right: KADIJU


On the final day of the shows, Abidjan-based OLOOH’s “New Thirty Something” collection was made up of casual tailoring, relaxed separates and cut-out dresses, in celebration of the “classic and elegant” style of young Ivorians. Nigerian womenswear brand KADIJU closed the shows with a summer-ready collection of ruffled dresses and coordinating separates punctuated with flashes of bold shades.

Music has always been a key aspect of ARISE Fashion Week and this year’s edition was paired with a jazz music festival that featured performances from American pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, French musician FKJ and Afrobeats star Wizkid.

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