Africa Fashion Festival Malawi Friday night, Namadingo and Lulu to perform

Camera men and women are wiping their lenses, flash lights and tripod stands. Designers are making their final stitches on their best pieces of clothing. Make-up artists are packing their tools in readiness for two nights of glamour. Stewards are running up and down putting together pieces of equipment, chairs, tables and décor.

Lilly Alfonso ready to showcase her designs
Some of the designers 

Friday night, the red carpet will be rolled and the runway, lit. It is a busy weekend in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, as all roads lead to Latitude 13 Hotel in Area 43 for the second edition of the annual Africa Fashion Festival.

This year, Africa Fashion Festival Malawi (AFFMW), is bringing together different models and designers from across Africa for a three-day celebration of fashion, arts, culture and music starting Friday at 5pm to Sunday, November 26th.

Speaking to media, Lorraine Kljajic, Founder and Director of Lush Africa, the organisers of the event, said they are ready for this year’s Africa Fashion Fest.

“I want to assure all people that we’re ready for this year’s event. Following the success of the 2016 Africa Fashion Festival, we decided to organise another festival this year and it’s going to be a fun-packed celebration of fashion, culture and the arts. ,” she said.

Kljajic further said Africa Fashion Festival Malawi is aimed at promoting local fashion designers and empowering them by creating networking opportunities with other African designers and industry business leaders.

“A fashion show is a sales promotion mechanism in the clothing industry and a widely recognized cultural event worldwide. By bringing the Africa Fashion Festival to Malawi we are giving our local designers a platform to market themselves and learn how they can develop their businesses to compete on the international market,” she said.

A total of 25 designers will showcase their products this year and 10 are Malawians, while the others are from Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique.

Creativity is key in any event and this is evident with the 2017 AFFMW as the Organisers have beat all odds and placed the fashion runway over the swimming pool at Latitude 13 Hotel.

“Yes, the models will be doing their catwalk on a floating runway. We decided to bring something new, hahaha,” Lorraine Kljajic laughs as she brags of their creativity.

Musicians Lulu and Patience Namadingo are billed to set the festival on fire with their magic on stage. Lulu will perform on Friday while Namadingo will close the show on Saturday.

The last day of the festival is dubbed “Shoppers’ Paradise” where different arts, crafts, food and drinks will be up for sell. The organisers set this day in order to give patrons a family shopping experience. The Shoppers Paradise will also enable designers to interact with the patrons and get their feedback.

As part of developing the local fashion industry, on Thursday organisers of AFFMW conducted a business seminar with young and upcoming fashion designers, most of them students, at Don Bosco Technical Institute in Area 23. At the business seminar, Malawi’s only fashion export, Lilly Alfonso, gave a talk on creating a successful fashion brand and advised the upcoming designers to be progressive in the pursuit of their dreams and be ready to grab opportunities.

The first edition of the Africa Fashion Festival Malawi was held in 2016 at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC).

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