Mar 7, 2012
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Lagos Fashion Week to kick off in Nigeria

Mar 7, 2012

LAGOS - Nigeria's biggest city from Wednesday hosts the second Lagos Fashion Week, which organisers say will showcase local design talent and add a splash of colour in a region often seen as troubled.

British-Ghanaian Ozwald Boateng (AFP/File, Olivier Laban-Mattei)

"There's a lot of negativity about Africa in general and Nigeria in particular," Penny McDonald, managing director of Arise Media, which is organising the event, told AFP on the eve of the opening day.

"Everything in the news is doom and gloom, from famine to bombings, to petrol (price crisis), most recently in Nigeria. Hopefully this will redress the imbalance... that is to say Africa and Nigeria are not broken."

Although the country does not boast any high-class shopping malls, Nigerians are well known for their flair and love of fashion.

Africa's most populous country has produced some of the continent's best known designers, such as Frank Osodi and Bridget Awosika, who will showcase their work Wednesday along with Britain-based Jamaican Romero Bryan.

McDonald said the number of designers shot up to 77 from 50 in 2011, a rise she attributes to the success of the inaugural show.

Two huge tents have been erected on the grounds of a five-star hotel to host the shows, and specialist decorators have been flown in from Europe.

Other top African names showing off their collections during the week include British-Ghanaian Ozwald Boateng and the internationally renowned South African duo Kluk CGDT. The show runs through Sunday.

"The world needs to see Africa showcase its own fashion," said McDonald.

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