Saturday, November 27, 2021

SPICE Attends: Africa Fashion Week New York’s “Off the Runway” Masterclass

On the 4th of September, Africa Fashion Week New York 2014 kicked off with a fashion star-studded masterclass titled “Off the Runway,” held in association with the United Nation Foundation – and we at SPICE were there to soak up the wise words the events’ special guests had to offer.

Set at The United Nations Foundation offices, NY, speakers for the night included top South African designer David Tlale, celebrity stylist Kithe Brewster, former editor at Paper Magazine and current managing partner at BDM, Zandile Blay, and PR and media relations manager for Jewel by Lisa, Zara Okpara, who all had insightful perspectives to share about African fashion and business.

Zara explained that budding fashion entrepreneurs should remember that “everyone is important” – from clients to professionals and the general audience – advising those that wish to be successful in the industry should keep contacts in every role within a business or brand.

Top South African designer David Tlale talking on his journey and building his name
Top South African designer David Tlale talking on his journey and building his name

David Tlale spoke on his journey as a fashion brand owner and how he has honoured his vision by being authentic – starting small and trading under his own name to build his brand and his name. The designer told his audience of bloggers, fashion lovers and business professionals not to be afraid to “trade with your name.”

As a creative who’s worked with a range of celebrities, including Beyonce and Tyra Banks, stylist Kithe Brewster touched on the discrimination he faced in the past while trying to feature African designers in some publications, advising people not to compromise on the hard work they put into their career or vision.

Zandile Blay stressed the importance of structure in a story – stressing that those looking to follow in her footsteps should think editorially, digitally and experimentally to tell their audience the story of their brand in a strategic way.

AFWNY founder, Adiat Adisu speaking to her guests
AFWNY founder, Adiat Disu speaking to her guests

Woman of the night, Africa Fashion Week New York founder, Adiat Disu, talked economics at the event, explaining in her speech;

“New York, the  epi-center of the fashion world, is home to some of the most innovative and creative designers – especially up-and-comers. From the catwalks to the sidewalks, it is a well-known fact that if you can make it here, you’ll succeed anywhere.

Fashion is vital to New York and in many fashion capitals. More than 800 fashion companies are located in New York, supporting more than 175,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars in revenue.”

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Team SPICE was also on hand to talk to the event’s speakers and guests about the night, as well as their thoughts on African fashion and business, which you can catch soon on Urban SPICE, on DSTV Channel 192.

For now see some pictures of the event, below;

PR and media relations extradinaire, Zara Okpara speaking at the event
PR and media relations extradinaire, Zara Okpara speaking at the event

David Tlale listening to insights from his fellow speakers
David Tlale listening to insights from his fellow speakers

Zandile Blay giving great advise on communicating the story of a brand or business to its audience
Zandile Blay giving great advise on communicating the story of a brand or business to its audience

A guest soaking up expertise at the "Off the Runway" masterclass
A guest soaking up expertise at the “Off the Runway” masterclass

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Event host, Eunice Omole, runner up in The Apprentice Africa and producer for the television series Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs, opening the introducing the night’s speakers

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CEO and founder of 54 Kingdoms, Nana Poku spoke at the event and focused on IT/web development, advising entrepreneurs to keep their audience in mind

Kithe Brewster sharing his experience as a celebrity stylist
Kithe Brewster sharing his experience as a noted celebrity stylist

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Motivational leader A.O Solomon spoke on having vision, faith and reaping rewards

Image source: Robert Cooper

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