Laurence Airline's Sustainable Showcase at AFU Fundraising Fashion Show

Laurence Airline's Sustainable Showcase at AFU Fundraising Fashion Show

Ranji Mangcu

Ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Final, which was won by the host country, Côte d’Ivoire, Africa Fashion International (AFI) held the Africa Fashion Unites (AFU) Fundraising Fashion Show in Abidjan.

Hosted by AFI in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Francophonie, it was a celebration of African fashion. 28 designer brands showcased at the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show, representing the 24 countries that participated in the 2023 AFCON.  


The AFU Fundraising Fashion Show was held in support of the Centre Artisanal ABE APO Élisabeth, which is based in Montézo, in the Alépé Region of Cote D’Ivoire.

The Centre Artisanal ABE APO Élisabeth serves its community and economy by turning the age-old traditional practice of weaving into a skills-exchange, promoting autonomy and practical skills-development. 


With Côte d’Ivoire being the host, AFI had to pay special attention to the country’s vibrant fashion industry. Boasting some of the most exciting fashion designers in the continent, Côte d’Ivoire’s fashion industry has played a pivotal role in solidifying the nation’s position as an emerging force in global fashion.  

Amidst the star-studded list of African designers who showcased at the fundraiser, are a handful of Ivorian designers who are leading the charge on their home turf.

 Fashion designer, Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud of Laurence Airline at the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show

With each on a mission to represent the beauty and riches of their culture, their presentations were a reminder of just why they are leaders in Africa’s fashion industry. 

Laurence Airline  

Founded in 2010 by Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud, Laurence Airline is a label on a mission to empower. The designer operates from a place of wanting to transform the continent’s fashion system from the top down – from defying stereotype to actioning sustainable textile development through practical skills-exchange.

Based in Grand Bassam, she uplifts communities by training and employing local artisans for her collections.    

Chauvin-Buthaud describes the label as “a meeting of different cultures, concepts, fabrics and colours to create my own story. It’s quite personal”. She also defines the label as being influenced by both West African and European design cultures.  

Laurence Airline’s AFU Fundraising Fashion Show collection transcended trends and delved into the rich tapestry of cultural heritage. Garments were not just crafted from indigenous and traditional textiles like raffia, woven fabrics, and organic cotton – they embodied stories passed down through generations.


The raw beauty of linen, silk, and denim served as canvases for intricate designs, each stitch whispering tales of forgotten traditions. The artisanal quality, the brand's signature, became more than just a mark of meticulous craftsmanship – it became a symbol of cultural preservation and empowerment.

The loose and easy-going silhouettes were refined by a sense of structure and were lent a rhythmic quality by the vibrant use of patterns, prints and movement. 

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