Since its initial conceptualization by Abdul Karim Abdullah in 2015; Afrochella has placed into the fore – advancement of homegrown talents and creative entrepreneurs through programs that celebrate the diversity of African culture. Now in its fifth year, the Ghanaian festival has proven to be more than just a music festival with unique programming that laces music with art, cuisine, fashion, and pop culture. Under the twin themes of “Afrofuturism” and “Made In Africa,” Afrochella made a 2021 comeback with double the fun and the thrill for showgoers. Having Afrobeat’s poster boy, Wizkid as the headliner for the festival alongside the likes of African music prodigies Amaare and Gyakie in addition to exhibitions on art, history and even a music museum made it the go-to party for Africans and the Black diaspora.
In lieu of all the excellent music acts, food, and art installations taking center stage, the fashion at Afrochella really carried the day — from the exciting street style moments of Afrochellans down to the very first exclusive fashion installment dubbed “Afrochella Fashion Night Out”. Presented in partnership with Instagram and produced by Ghanaian production studio DebonairAfrik, the event was designed to celebrate the thriving fashion scene in Africa and showcase up-and-coming designers from the continent.
Set against the lush backdrop of the Accra Central business capital, The Octagon was jam-packed for the fashion affair that featured multi-brand pop-ups, a panel discussion on growing the African fashion economy in addition to two fashion exhibitions from 13 designers who have created a heritage brand in the Ghanaian fashion industry. The catwalks of “The Afrochella Fashion Night Out” saw looks from a mix of burgeoning and marquee names in the Ghanaian fashion landscape.
Brands like Christie Brown which has dressed international celebrities like Tina Knowles gave a fresh spin on traditional textiles and silhouettes while Atto Tetteh went back to the basics. Ajabeng expanded on its Afro Minimalist aesthetic with new additions of fine relaxed tailoring that it has come to be known for, and the ‘fresh-out-of-fashion-school’ upcycling wiz; Boyedoe served a brilliant upcycled denim collection that reinforced the sustainability practices deeply entrenched in African fashion. The other nine designers including Jermaine Bleu, Bello Edu, Ophelia Crossland, Amy Et Emy all presented collections that spoke to the creative bandwidth of the current generation of the continent’s fashion talents.
With all the sartorial excellence displayed throughout the event, the hackneyed notion that the vibrant fashion scene in African countries like Ghana is just a passing trend calls for a big rethink as annual events like Afrochella continue to add to the collective effort of putting brilliant fashion talents on the continent in the right light globally.