This international women’s day we want to celebrate some of the female trailblazers in the African Fashion industry.
We’ve put a spotlight on three pioneering women who epitomise womanhood as they defy the limits of their industry, stand firm in their various causes, and seek to enable others along the way.
Ronke Ademiluyiis a British born fashion expert and CEO of Africa Fashion Week London and Africa Fashion Week Nigeria. Through these projects she has created a platform for many emerging African designers to showcase their work.
The descendant of a royal family from Ile – Ife in Nigeria, Ronke was trained as a lawyer however her strong sense for style and business in fashion led her to start sourcing affordable fashion items for her friends who would buy from her.
Noticing the lack of international exposure for African designers motivated her to create the AFW Brand. This has grown so much since its birth in 2011 and there are now 900 designers show casing their works which enjoys a viewership of around 60,000.
Philomena KwaoBritish Ghanaian plus size model, author and humanist does not shy away when it comes to representing black women.
The author speaks loudly and boldly about loving her curves and advocates for all black women to embrace every inch of their body. Her first book titled “The Queen In Me”, is a continuum of this message aimed at young girls to encourage them to celebrate their features and the beauty of their blackness.
She also seeks to debunk the stereotype of a “strong black women” explaining how deceiving it can be because often times black women are not sympathised with as everyone else during moments of vulnerability and weakness.
The way she uses her platform as a fashion model to push through social activism agendas across Africa inspires many in the process. Her fierceness and comfort in her own skin empowers many women to embrace their skin color, body and culture.
Jacqueline Shawis the founder of African fashion guide, a social enterprise and fashion sourcing agency set on putting Africa on the map as a global producer for the international fashion industry. Her brand educates and connects new designers with traditional production techniques as well as source environmentally friendly and sustainably created products that positively impact the communities that create them .
Harnessing her 20 years of working as an international fashion designer, Jacqueline combines her experience and passion for Africa as an eco-entrepreneur, coach, motivational speaker and author. Her book FASHION AFRICA- The Visual Overview Of Contemporary African Fashion has gained much momentum in the international fashion industry.
With a Masters in Ethical Fashion and then completing an MSc in Social Research there’s no doubt that Jacqueline has left no stone turned in becoming the leading lady in her field - now isn’t that worth celebrating!
Today we salute all women smashing it in their various industries and areas of pursuits.
Happy International Women’s Day!.