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African designers will score the winning goal during the Fifa Confederations Cup in June when the inaugural Africa Fashion Week takes place in Johannesburg.
African Fashion International which runs Cape Town, Joburg and Durban fashion weeks, has announced that the first Africa Fashion Week will be an eight-day showcase of the continents' leading designers from June 12 to June 19 at the Sandton Convention Centre. It will replace the Joburg Fashion Week on this year's Spring-Summer calendar.
"While the world's eyes are focused firmly on Joburg during the Confederations Cup, Africa Fashion Week will make sure that the beautiful game will also be complemented by beautiful and innovative fashion, and use the opportunity to bring the continent's top design talent to the world's attention," says Precious Moloi-Motsepe, AFI chairperson.
Already African influences are seen in international collections, a trend, which global fashion consultant Claire Hamilton of WGSN New York believes is only going to grow.
New York Fashion Week held last month hosted an African Fashion Collective featuring designers from South Africa, Mali and Nigeria showing off an array of African-inspired collections and presidential prints.
Examples of African designers who have already made their mark on the world fashion stage are Azzedine Alaia from Tunisia, Oswald Boateng from Ghana, Deola Sagoe from Nigeria and South Africa's Marc Bouwer.
Africa Fashion Week, which will feature designers from up to 15 countries, is set to become a yearly event that will also be held during the 2010 World Cup.
"Just as all the infrastructure and investment tied to the World Cup will benefit the continent as a whole in years to come, this fashion showcase should also leave a lasting legacy beyond 2010, stimulating the sector by taking African fashion to the world," says Moloi-Motsepe