Six years after the last Arise Fashion Week, the event that billed itself as Africa’s premier fashion showcase despite strong competition from rival platforms in South Africa and Nigeria made a comeback — and made it with a strong statement, care of supermodel Naomi Campbell walking down the runway.
Campbell jetted into Lagos, Nigeria last Thursday, and on Friday opened Nigerian designer Lanre Da Silva Ajayi’s show in a shimmering metallic gold gown with a fringed gold skirt. The audience was totally unprepared for the supermodel surprise. Then she opened the celebrated South African design duo Kluk CGDT’s fashion show, strutting along the catwalk in a glamorous fringed lilac geometric-print coat dress. She elicited whoops of approval from the audience. “We are so honored,” Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriel Du Toit said.
Campbell’s presence in Lagos was expected as part of her AFW promotional duties, which included meeting with Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari; she toured a luxury development with him. But no one expected her to actually walk any of the shows.