Arise Africa Fashion Week
Arise Africa Fashion Week

JOHANNESBURG, Jun 11, 2009 / FW/ — Tomorrow, Jun 12, Arise Africa Fashion Week reaches its first milestone as it debuts in the fashion world for its first time ever fashion week. Eight days later, on Saturday, Jun 20, 2009, another milestone is reached as the foundational ARISE Africa Fashion Awards becomes the exciting conclusion of Arise Africa Fashion Week.

Surprisingly enough, the grand prize is not Designer of the Year, but the winning designer gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to present at New York Fashion Week in the ARISE Africa Rising show in September 2009.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg, in the sumptuous Pavilion Room from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A panel of fashion insiders and experts will present awards to designers and models in several categories, including Designer of the Year, New Face of the Year and an Award for Innovation.

In addition, esteemed humanitarian, philanthropist and former First Lady of France Cécilia Attias will deliver the keynote address, “The Promise of Africa.” Recently she founded the Cecilia Attias Foundation to support non-governmental organizations in the improvement of women’s lives globally.

Nduka Obaigbena, ARISE founder and THISDAY GROUP Chairman, said, “The moment for Africa is upon us. At this time of global economic crisis, the people of Africa must turn disadvantage into opportunity and show the world that we are witnessing the first green shoots of the emerging African century. We have all it takes and we’re going for it!”

Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Founder of Africa Fashion Week and the Africa Fashion Awards, said, “Our goal is to promote and recognize the best of African fashion talent on a global scale and the ARISE Africa Fashion Awards is a further step towards fulfillment of this goal.”

Nduka Obaigbena and African Fashion International Chairperson, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to a surprise honoree.

Among the event’s highlights will be a command performance from international, platinum-selling recording artist R. Kelly. R. Kelly’s appearance at the ARISE Africa Fashion Awards kicks off a multi-city tour through Africa and ends in London.

R.Kelly said “I’m very excited about my first visit to Africa, I’ve dreamed about this for a long time and its finally here. It will be one of the highlights of not only my career but my life. I can’t wait to perform in front of my fans in Africa – who have been some of the best in the world.”

ARISE Africa Fashion Week has already confirmed the participation of over 51 of the best African fashion designers from 20 countries and all regions of the continent.