One of Dakar Fashion Week’s greatest occasions is free and excessive-finish — a vogue present in a working class neighborhood. The occasion’s founder, Senegalese designer Adama Paris, says the “Avenue Present” is her favourite present of the week as a result of she will get to take vogue again to the streets the place it belongs.
Simply throughout the avenue from the place quick-transferring public buses pause briefly to choose up passengers, Moussa Diouf strains up Nike, Adidas and Puma footwear on a brief cement wall. The wall sits on one aspect of a makeshift catwalk in the Niary Tally neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal.
Throughout the flashy stage, Nicole Coly sells shiny materials by the meter in her small nook retailer. Lace is one of her prime sellers proper now, she says.
These vogue distributors flank a big catwalk arrange for the 15th annual Dakar Fashion Week’s “Avenue Present.” As well as to their conventional vogue exhibits in excessive-class resorts, yearly DFW holds a free vogue present in a working class neighborhood of Dakar.
“This present is my favourite present, as a result of we’re bringing again vogue to the streets,” says Paris, a designer and Dakar Fashion Week founder. “For the years coming, I need this present to turn into extra fashionable as a result of it’s vital to encourage the younger folks and are available to this avenue with excessive vogue. Fashion is from the streets, so mainly what we’re doing is taking again vogue the place it belongs.”
This vogue week present is open to the public, and 11 of the greater than 30 designers from 9 international locations are collaborating to showcase their new strains. A couple of meters away from the fashions rehearsing earlier than the present, native tailor Al Hassane Diallo says he's wanting ahead to seeing new designs.
“I'm very impressed as a result of I see what's new. I see one thing that I didn’t learn about earlier than,” Diallo says.
The 25-year-previous tailor is simply wrapping up one of his busiest seasons of the 12 months, a couple of days after the finish-of-Ramadan events have quieted down.
Down the avenue from the tailor store, Ramatoulaye, a 21-year-previous communications scholar sits subsequent to her grandmother whereas sporting trendy sun shades.
“I like what Adama Paris does,” she says of the Dakar Fashion Week founder and Senegalese designer. “She’s a star.”
Ramatoulaye’s pal, Marie Beye, chimes in: “She might have chosen a pleasant resort (for this vogue present), however she loves her nation.”
No low-cost or little present
As the music begins, youngsters line up in the entrance row and clap loudly for the totally different sartorial creations. The group dances alongside as golden-clad fashions sway down the runway in Paris’ golden, shiny clothes to the French rapper Maitre Gims’ music, Sapeur Comme Jamais (Dressed Like By no means Earlier than).
“I don’t need to do, simply do an affordable or little present,” Paris mentioned of the Niary Tally vogue occasion. “I simply need to do exactly really what had been doing in fancy locations.”
One other designer comes out with funky clothes that spotlight the colourful wax material so fashionable in West African streets, as fashions march down the runway, knees excessive, to the 1950s American music, Lollipop. This 12 months there are 100 fashions strolling in the avenue parade — greater than every other 12 months.
In it’s 15th 12 months, DFW has grown from six designers its first 12 months, to 36 this 12 months from 9 international locations.
After this evening’s avenue parade, the catwalks of Dakar will transfer to an higher-crust resort, however for this evening, it’s Niary Tally’s second in the highlight.