The air crackled with anticipation at the Esplanade du Palais de Congrès in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, as fashionistas, philanthropists, and sports enthusiasts converged for the Africa Fashion Unites Fundraising Fashion Show.
This electrifying event, held on the eve of the 2023 AFCON final, wasn't just about showcasing the latest trends; it was a powerful fusion of fashion, culture, and philanthropy.
The legendary fashion designer, Ainé Pathé Ouédraogo of Pathé'O, was one of the iconic designers who showcased at the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show. On the left is Frédérique Kragbé Leininger, a former model and now the Editorial Director of ELLE Côte d'Ivoire and TV personality, who returned to the runway for the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show.
Organised by Africa Fashion International (AFI) in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Francophonie, the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show was a powerful display of unity, showcasing the immense talent and creativity of African designers from across the continent coming together to raise crucial funds for the Centre Artisanal ABE APO ÉLISABETH in Montézo, Alépé District.
A Night of Bidding and Giving
Legendary football players, Anthony Baffoe and Emmanuel Adebayor walking the runway at the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
The evening's highlight was a captivating fundraising auction, where guests had the chance to bid on pieces of history, like the signed Côte d'Ivoire team jersey and the official AFCON 2023 final football signed by African football legends. This generous support, coupled with a joint USD 50,000 donation from AFI and Le Ministère de la Culture et de la Francophonie, will make a significant impact on the centre’s future.
Football legends, Emmanuel Adebayor and Anthony Baffoe walked the runway in support of the show, before helping to handover the cheque presented by AFI’s Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe and the Minister of Culture and Francophonie, Madame Françoise Remarck to Madam Michéle Yakice, founder of the Centre Artisanal ABE APO ÉLISABETH.
Celebrating Diversity on the Runway
The runway was a vibrant celebration of African fashion's diverse tapestry. Renowned designers from participating nations of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations showcased their unique styles, each collection offering a glimpse into the continent's rich textile traditions and modern design sensibilities.
Ivorian Fashion Takes Centre Stage
The evening culminated in a dazzling showcase of Ivorian fashion, featuring the masterful creations of Pathé'O, Loza Maléombho, Lafalaise Dion, Kente Gentleman, and Laurence Airline. Their designs, infused with the country's cultural heritage and contemporary flair, brought the night to a stylish and memorable close.
Elle Côte d'Ivoire editorial director, Frédérique Kragbé Leininger, a former model and TV personality, returned to the runway for the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show. Cameroonian model, Jencey Foje, also made an appearance at the fashion show.
Music and Culture Intertwine
Members of the cultural group, Kassoutri during their performance at the AFU Fundraising Fashion Show in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
Leading Ivorian artists added another dimension to the night with their electrifying performances. The renowned singer Josey, who captivated audiences at the AFCON 2023 opening ceremony, performed her hits, while cultural groups Kassoutri and Sorayow reminded guests of the importance of heritage. DJ King Nika closed off the show with a set that celebrated Africa's impact on the global music scene.
A Legacy of Empowerment
The Africa Fashion Unites Fundraising Fashion Show was more than just a fashion show; it was a testament to the power of collaboration, creativity, and philanthropy.
By uniting the worlds of fashion, culture, and sport, AFI and its partners have not only raised crucial funds for the Centre Artisanal ABE APO ÉLISABETH, but also shone a spotlight on the immense talent and potential of African fashion.
This event serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative role fashion can play in empowering communities and fostering cultural understanding.