Here we are with a new article about an exciting event for African Fashion influence.
The Luxury Connect Africa Trade & Exhibition Keynotes was hosted two weeks ago at the Hotel Le Bristol, an authentic pearl of French luxury. In a fashion week season, the time was just right.
Luxury Connect Africa: the purpose
It was the second time that Uche Pezard, founder of Luxury Connect Africa and business strategist in the luxury industry, organised this event to showcase the best of African luxury brands on the international scene. With a guests’ audience including high-profile personalities such as Maria Borges, fashion queens and experts such as Ogo Offodile or figureheads of African culture broadcasting such as Little Africa, Luxury Connect Africa gathered la crème de la crème of the African game changers.
Her objective is clear. “Africa has always been looked at as a market, as a destination for consumption, for distribution because there is a wealthy class rising in Africa. But what we are trying to show is that the luxury economy in Africa is also being hugely impacted by the creative talents coming out of Africa.So rather than looking at Africa and Africans as a group of consumers who buy luxury products, which is by the way the truth, we are also trying to highlight luxury coming out of Africa. […] Luxury is not just going to Africa from the international market, but luxury is also coming out of Africa to the global market.” These were her words to France24 last year straight after the event’s first edition.
Luxury Connect Africa: the event
So, the event started the first day with interesting conferences about cultural heritage, today afro influences, millennials, style, fashion and the women role in fashion and beauty. Unfortunately, I could not attend these but who knows, maybe someday I will also be a guest of such debates.
For me, the event started the second day. I was so excited to go there that I rushed to arrive early. And guess what, I was the very first one there! I got there even before the exhibitors. I thought “Good job Steph, always so stressed that you got out of control.” Only option left: wait. The staff of the hotel made me feel comfortable and, Fa-Raon (the hotel’s mascot) even joined. What more could you ask?
In fact, being an early-bird was the best move I made. Before the exhibition turned busy, I was lucky to take pictures of the exhibited pieces easily. I especially made the most of the calm period talking to the designers. I had great talks with Tina Ngxokolo, Creative Director and the Production Manager of the brand Maxhosa by Laduma and Imane Ayissi, founder of the eponym brand. Fashion was also represented with Folake Coker’s brand, and now Nigerian fashion institution: Tiffany Amber. I was nicely taught about the prints and the brand’s signature fabric.
Unlike the first edition, there were neither leather goods nor shoes (we hope to see more of them next year). However, beauty welcomed two new brands: So Aesthetic Make up and Muxima haircare products. The other cosmetics brand exhibited was the natural R&R Luxury, with a range of beauty products made of shea butter. I will go into details about these brands through upcoming articles (so stay tuned!).
Spaces for dialogue about African savoir-faire are rare in our fashion capital city. This Luxury Connect Africa event obviously aims to boost the influence of Fashion & Luxury made in Africa or by its diaspora. These brands, and many other quality ones, need to be promoted on the international market in order to attract new potential clients, buyers and investors. So yes, as far as I am concerned, Paris thanks this event to contribute to these brands’ success.
Another space to meet African finest art, fashion and luxury brands in Paris is the Nelly Wandji cabinet de curiosités. We will naturally discover it together in a new article.
Little Extra: I tried products from R&R Luxury and So Aesthetic. I will probably share a review of them on my Instagram, so pay attention to my stories.