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By Zenoyise Madikwa | Jul 07, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE Sandton Convention Centre was the scene of the second anniversary of the Africa Fashion Awards on Monday evening.

THE Sandton Convention Centre was the scene of the second anniversary of the Africa Fashion Awards on Monday evening.

This year's awards showcased the tenacity, intelligence and experience the fashion industry has come to put a premium on in 2010.

The event recognised the most influential people in fashion today. It was also a celebration of the reputation and development of African fashion.

Members of fashion's glossy posse, celebrities, designers, retailers, models and journalists celebrated the best of African fashion in a ceremony that saw Duro Olowu bestowed with the most coveted International Designer of the Year prize.

The lawyer-turned-designer, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria, got the award just as he approaches his sixth anniversary in the fashion business.

Olowu first launched his self-titled women's wear label with a collection for Spring/Summer 2005. From the beginning Olowu had a signature aesthetic sensibility: comfortable and luxurious designs. He is no stranger to kudos either. He was named New Designer of the Year during the 2005 British Fashion Week in London. This was only a year after the launch of his label. His designs are not ethnic, though the bold prints and colour and patterns are evidence of his African heritage. His designs have an exotic look and maintain an eclectic appeal.

The guests were treated to a glittering show by different designers. Special honours were presented by a galaxy of stars including a nervous face of L'Oreal, model Terry Pheto, Somalian super-model Yasmin Warsame and former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune, among others.

Guests had champagne followed by a gala dinner. Indeed, it was an event worth celebrating.

The industry has emerged with a more mature approach to style. Africa is showing maturity in the fashion stakes and this year's event was better organised than last year's.

As always, people showed off their fabulous frocks. Precious Motsepe was dazzling in a David Tlale creation.

Presenter Sinazo Yolwa is slowly making her mark on the industry. Not to be outclassed, Uyanda Mbuli, scarce on the social scene lately, stood out in a blood-red JJ Schoeman dress, DFC jacket and gloves and Jimmy Choo shoes and bag.


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