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It was a fun-fuelled two days for SHERENE MELINDA at this year’s Africa Fashion Week London, which took place on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th August at Olympia London. Africa Fashion Week is the largest catwalk show dedicated to African and African-inspired fashion in Europe. For more information about AFWL you can read our previous blog, found here. This blog is dedicated to bringing you all the highlights from our exhibitor’s stand and from the prestigious runway show.
Highlights from our exhibitor’s stand
We were due to take the stage on this year’s runway on Saturday at 1pm, so the first day was spent meeting other designers, press and customers at our exhibitor’s stand. It was overwhelming how many people came to show their support for our brand and our handbags.
We were privileged enough to speak to talented journalists and conduct interviews, pose for photographs and smile for the TV cameras. It was also a pleasure, as it always is, to have met so many customers, some of whom came to visit us after receiving the invitation through this blog.
After the two days came to an end, we were ecstatic to find out that we had been awarded the prize for best stand by AFWL, which entitles us to an automatic place at next year’s show. The announcement of this came as a surprise, not because our stand wasn’t beautiful, but because we weren’t aware that there was an award for this!
Highlights from the Catwalk Show
We were lucky enough to experience both sides of the runway, as our creative director took her place backstage, and we found our seats in the audience.
From behind the stage, creative director Sherene felt her adrenaline rush as the drums of our chosen music beat, (Way of Baba by Durban born Busi Mhlongo), as the catwalk shook under the strut of model’s feet. She told us that the atmosphere backstage was electric, everything happened so quickly, everybody was busy, and there was a lot of support around to ensure everything ran smoothly. The models were enjoying themselves, which was important to Sherene. The whole experience was, in her words, organised chaos (in a good way of course!).
In the audience, the atmosphere was equally as stimulating. There was a period of enjoyable anticipation as we waited for the bags to start coming out, so that we could see people’s reactions. The buzz of the crowd heightened as the models begun their walk down the runway. The audience’s sentiment only increased as the show progressed, and as they cheered and clapped, the hardest part of the show for us was whether to look through our eyes or our camera lenses. It is a difficult task to describe the feeling of pride we had throughout and after the show.
The post-AFWL experience is not even close to being over. Following the catwalk show at 1pm on Saturday, our exhibitor’s stand was flooded with even more people than on Friday looking to grab our attention, which we loved. The interviews we did will start being printed over the next few weeks and the hype of AFWL will take months to die down.
SHERENE MELINDA is appreciating all the mentions across social media following the show. AFWL posted the photo below on their Instagram page and it seemed our male model Emeka has garnered a lot of other positive attention from spectators (we’re sure it’s because of the bags!).
Below is a video posted by FashionCadet, who was in the audience, of the finale of our bags on the runway.
A special thanks
We want to say a very big thank you to Africa Fashion Week London for the opportunity
To South African brand Mungo, for their beautiful Kikois, which we had especially made for our models on the runway
To the gorgeous models who wore the handbags on this year’s catwalk
To everyone who came to our stand or was in the audience to meet us and show their support
And, of course, to all our customers and fans, for showing their continued support for our brand
We look forward to seeing you again next year!
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