Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe
The story of AFI begins in 2007, as the global fashion industry began consciously correcting it’s lack of diversity. AFI entered the scene with a clear vision to create a platform where the best, most globally relevant and contemporary African designers will be discovered. AFI has since groomed and propelled local designers into global household names.
At the heart of AFI is Dr Precious-Moloi-Motsepe. From the beginning of her career she has been an advocate for instilling a culture of hope and shared prosperity amongst African people. As a long-standing member of the Harvard Kennedy School and the World Economic Forum, amongst many other international platforms, Dr Moloi-Motsepe leverages these globally renowned stages to share Africa’s perceptions with the world. In 2017, Dr Moloi-Motsepe won the inaugural Fashion 4 Development Franca Sozzani Award at the United Nations in New York, for her efforts in promoting African fashion designers and supporting the empowerment of disadvantaged women.
The first international showcase arranged by AFI was in 2008 in Paris, with designers David Tlale, Thula Sindi and Craig Jacobs showing alongside the more established designer Gavin Rajah. In 2009, in partnership with ARISE, AFI elevated local designers to runways at NYFW. Since then, designers and brands, including globally acclaimed Laduma Ngxokolo, have expanded their reach by thrilling audiences at Joburg Fashion Week while consistently showcasing at AFI Fashion Weeks and pop up stores.
AFI invests in building a beneficial ecosystem for the African fashion industry. To achieve this, AFI partners with leading organisations in the industry and has hosted world class fashion events and shows together with Mercedes Benz, Ms World and Condé Nast International. Leaders in fashion, including the likes of Suzy Menkes, the former editor of Vogue International, and Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, have attended AFI Fashion Week.