Guzangs Hosts Event to Highlight the Evolution of African Fashion

Guzangs Hosts Event to Highlight the Evolution of African Fashion
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African fashion is rapidly attracting global attention, and Guzangs is at the forefront of this movement. With years of experience in showcasing the stories of African fashion designers worldwide, the brand has now expanded its reach to Nigeria.

This strategic move aims to identify top fashion talents in the country and launch its ambitious plan of establishing personalized connections with fashion designers across the continent. This initiative is encapsulated in the unique event titled “The Guzangs Experience,” promising a one-of-a-kind platform for collaboration and celebration within the African fashion industry.

African fashion embodies the spirit of passion, resilience, and vibrancy that is synonymous with Africa. It intricately weaves these elements into every fabric, creating styles that stand out, especially on the international stage. Guzangs has evolved into a vibrant hub for fashion talents to showcase their pieces, garnering essential exposure for life-changing opportunities.

The brand has strategically positioned itself not only to support African fashion creatives but also to embrace social media influencers, photographers, videographers, and other creatives across the continent. This holistic approach fosters a collaborative and dynamic ecosystem within the African fashion industry.

On Thursday, March 14, 2024, the city of Lagos witnessed a gathering of Nigeria’s leading fashion designers, stylists, influencers, actors, musicians, and various other individuals in the arts. They convened to discuss the timely emergence of the concept behind Guzangs, recognizing its significance and impact on the fashion industry.

Idelle Taye, the founder of Guzangs, passionately expressed the remarkable progress that African fashion has achieved over the years and emphasized the importance of sharing this progress with the world. She highlighted the diversity within African fashion, noting that it extends far beyond iconic styles like Ankara and Danshiki, and underscored the significance of showcasing this diversity through a platform that celebrates it.

Taye also discussed the readiness of African fashion to take a leading role in global fashion trends, stating, “I see African fashion designers being stakeholders, having a seat at the table.” This reflects her belief in the potential of African designers to contribute significantly to the global fashion landscape.

The event commenced with a warm welcome message from Maliz Mahop, an advocate for the African creative industry, who introduced the Guzangs brand to the esteemed guests. She highlighted the brand’s remarkable achievements within just three years of existence, showcasing renowned names such as Afrokrema, Muyishime, Margaux Wong, and Ugo Monye, among others. Their designs were displayed on a global stage, earning well-deserved global recognition.

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Reflecting on the potential of African fashion to secure a prominent position on the world stage, Sara Sozzani Maino, a renowned fashion advocate based in Europe and the creative director of Fondazzione Sozzani and CNCC (Conde Nast Commercial Creative), as well as an Advisory Board Member of the Circular Fashion Summit (a United Nations SDG project), emphasized the importance of African designers boldly showcasing their craftsmanship on the international stage. She stressed that creating fashion is not just about making clothes but also about conveying messages and driving changes.

For a continent as culturally rich and steeped in traditions as Africa, Sozzani Maino believes that designers from this region should have a strong motivation to showcase their culture and creativity on a global scale. This sentiment reflects the potential impact African fashion can have in influencing global fashion trends while celebrating its unique heritage and craftsmanship.

Amina Isa, Founder of Koy and Victoria’s and Lala’s Lagos, delved deeper into this heritage by highlighting the richness and diversity of African fashion, noting that it extends beyond mere clothing. She described African fashion as the most diverse, interesting, and beautiful type of fashion globally.

Isa expressed the need to continue the momentum in showcasing African fashion, believing that it is on a trajectory towards great success and recognition worldwide.

In fostering the mass appeal of African fashion domestically, Daniel Etim-Effiong emphasized the importance of making African fashion accessible to the Nigerian market while ensuring its sophistication for global appeal. He likened this approach to the “Pure Water” model, where he said,

“Fashion, the way we learned from the global scene is perceived to be very sophisticated but maybe what African fashion designers need to learn is how to break it down, bringing it closer to the people.”

Imanse, a Nigerian artist, emphasized the importance of improved collaborations among creatives to showcase the power of black heritage more effectively. She believes that designers should be open-minded and offer opportunities to committed, professional, and hardworking fashion designers, as this could lead to groundbreaking success.

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Deyemi Okanlawon, actor and producer of the latest blockbuster “All is Fair in Love,” validated this notion by sharing his understanding of the fusion of fashion and movie production. He recounted how he was inspired by Hollywood sensation Tom Ford’s style in a movie, leading him to integrate fashion into his film projects.

When working on “All is Fair in Love” in 2023, Okanlawon collaborated with Ayodeji Ayodele to costume his cast, highlighting the seamless collaboration that didn’t strain their budgets.

He emphasized the importance of such collaborations in creating better opportunities for the industry on a global scale. Other creative industry cremes de la creme in attendance included Eso Dike, Enyinna Nwige, Ijeoma Balogun, and Nkechi Balogun.

Fashion in Africa demonstrates its ability to extend beyond its boundaries, encompassing multiple industries within and beyond the creative realm. In concluding the event, Idelle Taye expressed her strong belief in the potential of African Fashion on the international scene, saying,

“African Fashion is a gem that needs to be nurtured. As we work hard at Guzangs to rediscover the craft and heritage of Fashion in the continent, we will continue to see increased global visibility and exponential financial growth for African fashion creatives.”

Guzangs, therefore, presents itself as a viable channel of discovery through which fashion enthusiasts from across the globe can take a bird’ s-eye view of the continent and marvel in awe at the array of fashion discoveries resident within the continent of Africa.

Lagos is a first step towards other African city tours for Guzangs. Discover the best of fashion Africa has to offer, visit their website to get started.

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