The continent – Africa is about to be hit by an epoch-making fashion event if what we are hearing is anything to go by. According to reliable sources, plans for ECOWAS Fashion Week 2013 is currently in the pipeline and the event will not just benefit ECOWAS countries only, but the continent as well.
Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria, The Economic Community Of West African States(ECOWAS) is a regional group that is comprised of fifteen countries, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, *Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, *Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
In recent years, the fashion world have witness the upsurge of African fabrics like Akosombo, Akwete, Ama serwaa, Ankara, Aso-oke, Bonsu, Tie & dye, Kente to mention but a few, making rave reviews in topnotch fashion shows in Johannesburg, London, Milan, New York, Paris and other major fashion capitals in the world.
A-list British actress Thandie Newton in a Jewel By Lisa jumpsuit from S/S 2012 Collection IMAGE CREDIT: Cultural Toast Blog
Solange Knowles recently sported a Derek Lam Spring 2013 ensemble. IMAGE CREDIT: Cultural Toast
The aforementioned fabrics have become the toast of the fashion world so much so that A-list celebrities like Alicia Keys, Angela Simmons, Beyonce, Catt Sadler, Gwen Stefani, June Ambrose, Thandie Newton, Rihanna, Kelis, Solange Knowles and numerous others have been spotted in these fabrics.
Also, we recall last year that **models strutted the runway for Balenciaga’s Spring 2013 at Paris Fashion Week with fabrics like Dutch wax prints and Ankara on display! We have not forgot the Burberry Prorsum Incident too. From reliable findings, these fabrics are largely produced overseas by non-African manufacturers and sold to buyers there.
From the foregoing, ECOWAS Fashion Week 2013 will seek to address the seething issues that bedevil manufacturers, buyers, marketers, designers in Africa from making gains from these fabrics especially with countries like Ghana and Nigeria, who hardly tap into the full dividends of fabric production.
IMAGE CREDIT: African Fashion Week London page
Also, the Fashion Week will seek to harness a formidable enterprise across ECOWAS countries and beyond as this event will serve as employment and empowerment for the youths. Organisers of ECOWAS Fashion Week maintain that this show is not going to be just a “fashion show” of fanfare and razzmatazz where gaily-dressed guests come, watch and clap.
Organisers are already in talks with top buyers who will come and buy pieces from participating African designers, accessories makers and entrepreneurs during the Fashion Week.
The planned date for ECOWAS Fashion Week is 2nd-5th October, 2013. Talks are ongoing as regards the appropriate venues and schedules for the events. Tentatively, fifty (50) designers are expected to showcase during the four-day event. Also, models will cast in fifteen ECOWAS countries.

Companies and sponsors will be expected to support this venture so as to make the planned Fashion Week a toast to global investors and not just respective governments of Economic Community Of West African States.
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*Guinea and Niger Republic are currently suspended members of ECOWAS. Guinea is suspended because of the 2008 coup détat, while Niger has been suspended of the 2009 coup d’état. -SOURCE