Hub of Africa’s Bumpy Fashion Week

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – On Thursday October 23, 2014, the third Hub of Africa Fashion Week (HAFW) opened up at the Galani Coffee House, a chic warehouse turned coffee shop near Gerji Mebrat Hail in Addis Abeba. The fashion show, which showcases various designers in one venue, is a three-day event that includes “two nights of fashion and one night of pure industry” said Linda Murithi, one half of HAFW’s founders.

Featured works of Yohannes sisters Z(photo: Addis Fortune)
Featured works of Yohannes sisters (photo: Addis Fortune)

Although the HAFW 2014 show took place, this week’s edition did not quite live up to the expectations raised by the success of previous events. Originally intended to showcase 14 African designers, this year’s show only included seven headliners: Kahindo Mateene (DRC), Abugida (Ethiopia), Katungulu Mwendwa (Kenya) Kepha Maina (Kenya), Mataano (Somalia), Rooi (Nigeria), Yohannes sisters (Ethiopia) and Ruald Rheeder (South Africa). The designers, although established in their respective countries, are less present globally, and use HAFW to break into the global market. The 2014 edition of HAFW, which was expected to help designers show international fashion journalists and buyers that African designers are capable of competing with their European counterparts, unfortunately came up a little short, mostly due to a lack of organization.

The HAFW fashion show launched in 2010, with six designers presenting during the initial show. According to sources, the intent this year was to showcase the work of 14 African design talents, but several were unable to show their creations because of disagreements between models and organizers, as well as due to other undisclosed problems. The shows on Thursday and Friday both started fashionably late. On the plus side, this allowed organizers some room to patch up apparent organizational issues, as two shows out of seven had to be cancelled on Thursday and six out of nine on Friday.

Read more at: Addis Fortune