by Ayo Elizabeth Olaogun
New customer acquisitions and collaborations are within reach when young fashion designers from Africa are provided a platform to exhibit their creativity to a large audience that is strictly made up of global buyers and the media. At leading trade shows of international stature such as Pitti Imagine Super which is set to hold in Milan from the 24th – 26th February 2018, magic happens as new gateways open up for young innovative minds.
The first edition of Super, featuring women’s accessories and prêt-à-porter collections was produced by Pitti Immagine and Fiera Milano in 2013. Even though majority of designers originate from Italy each year, the trade fair focused on Africa last year with a tasteful selection of African brands in collaboration with Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Pitti Immagine commenced a line up of eclectic and talented designers such as Loza Maleombho from Cote D’ Ivoire, Okhtein from Egypt, Liya Kebede’s Lem Lem from Ethiopia, AAKS HANDCRAFTED from Ghana, Alama from Tanzania, Gozel Green & Grey from Nigeria.
Of all the brands listed above, Okhtein seems to be the only one that has landed itself on Moda Operandi, the famous online luxury fashion retail store, currently offering a range of bags at an average of one thousand dollars each. Okhtein’s handcrafted bags are legendary, the bags strike a modern and vintage note and could easily be mistaken for any high-end luxury hand bag from the Kering Group.
Pitti Imagine Super is a sizzling hotpot of more than a hundred talented up-coming fashion brands, rich in creativity from various continents. International trade shows breed new business connections, fresh opportunities are discovered, ideas and inspirations are endless as common grounds of people sharing the same passions are explored.
Is Africa perhaps not as futuristic as it is deemed to be? What collaborations resulted from the brands that were featured last year? What specific criteria must designers from across the globe meet? What challenges do African brands face in participating at international fairs?
Bubbling with excitement, let’s find out a few or more reasons as we walk the fashion districts of Milan to bring you Super news from Pitti Immagine.