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4 Nigerians shine at Couture week NY

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By Remmy Diagbare

Couture Fashion Week (CFW) – a memorable experience of beauty, glamour and luxury was held Friday, February 18 through Sunday February 20, 2011 at the world-famous Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. One of New York Fashion Week’s most elegant events, CFW surpassed expectations, delivering eighteen fabulous fashion collections to large appreciative audiences, proving that high-end couture fashion is alive and well.

In addition to the amazing runway shows held in the iconic Grand Ballroom, the event included world-class entertainment, a charity tie-in with the American Diabetes Association, displays of fine art and luxury products, and attendance of fashion lovers, the mass media and celebrities from around the world.

This year marked the fourth season Nigerian models and designers participated in both the Couture Fashion Week and the Washington Fashion Week. From the rousing applause the Nigerian contingent received, it was clear that Nigeria has become a force to reckon with in the world fashion arena.

In the opinion of the team leader and owner of the franchise to the New York Couture Fashion Week, Joan Okorodudu, this season had three Nigerian designers: Berry Couture’s Ms. Hadiza Yakubu; House of Farrah’s Mrs. Fatima Aliu Garba; and, Rukkaya Suleiman of Reeda’s. All of them were assembled from the northern part of Nigeria.

The team showcased with the theme “FOCUS NIGERIA DESIGNER”.

Joan Okorodudu, who is now the in-house designer for

Daviva, presented her Daviva collection to a packed audience. She said she was “escatic” when she saw the post event reviews in the mass media.

The show was attended by ALPHADI, described as the father of African Fashion recently. He had presented his DAVIVA Collection at the Paris Fashion Week and flew in to support Joan Okorodudu in the US. He said: “Africa has come a long way and the world is looking our way now.”

Other designers who have participated in these Fashion Weeks are Nigeria’s top designers like Zizi Cardow, Lanre da Silva, Hallero, House of Jola and Ouch.

“From Paris to New York and to Jo’burg, Lagos and London, ankara now has a new name” says Mrs. Okorodudu. “We call it ankara, others call it “tribal and prints”. We know that the worst thing that can happen to this continent is when we are no longer associated with this fabric.

“From Mango Stores to Gwen Stefani, Beyonce and other top stars who now parade with our ankara fabric, I believe this is the time to capitalize on this momentum and take ankara to the world. We should not allow the world to bring back ankara to us as they do with many other products,” she noted.

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