On July 7, the winner of the 2023 edition of Africa Fashion Up was announced: Aristide Loua, Ivorian designer and founder of the Kente Gentlemen brand, won the “Designer Africa Fashion Up 2023” prize.
The five laureates presented several pieces from their collections at a major fashion show held at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. The event was supported by BALENCIAGA, Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann and HEC Paris, and on the media side, by Trace, Brut, France Médias Monde, Brune Magazine and 35°Nord.
On Friday July 7, 2023, young Ivorian designer Aristide Loua, founder of Kente Gentlemen, was awarded the “Designer Africa Fashion Up 2023” prize, presented by BALENCIAGA, Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann and HEC Paris. The jury was won over by her sober, elegant tailoring, a strong marker of her style, and the integration of an ethical dimension in the manufacture of her garments.
Alongside him, the winners of this 2023 edition presented several pieces from their collections: Yonael Marga (Ethiopia), Ibrahim Taju (Nigeria), Shamyra Moodley (South Africa) and Jafaru Larry (Ghana). Eric Raisina (Madagascar) and Guy Fabrice “Zaady” (Côte d’Ivoire), both former AFUP laureates, also took part in the show as guest designers.
The event, held in a setting designed by sculptor and visual artist Junior Fritz Jacquet, was highlighted by performances from dancer Yann Antonio and rapper Passi accompanied by Ortiz. It was followed by a gala dinner at the museum.
The show concluded a week of training and coaching behind the scenes of Paris fashion. The haute couture house Balenciaga opened its doors to these promising talents, who then went on to discover Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Next step: the winners will follow a specialized management training module delivered by the HEC Paris business school, and benefit from four months’ personalized support from BALENCIAGA as part of an extended mentoring program.
“We’d like to congratulate all the designers who took part in this wonderful adventure, and in particular the overall winner, Aristide Loua,” says Valérie Ka, founder of Share Africa who initiated Africa Fashion Up. “Share Africa is delighted with the success of this edition, which celebrates the creativity and influence of African fashion. I would also like to thank all our partners, in particular BALENCIAGA, HEC Paris, Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann and the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.”
From left to right: Ibrahim Taju, Nigerian designer and founder of TJWHO; Jafaru Larry, Ghanaian designer and founder of Larry Jay; Sophie Coustaury – Dedeyan, Chief Talent Officer of BALENCIAGA; Philippe Oster, Senior Executive Director in charge of International Affairs at HEC Paris; Vincent Senecat, Director of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann; Aristide Loua, Ivorian designer and founder of Kente Gentlemen; Shamyra Moodley, South African designer and founder of Laaniraani; Valérie Ka, founder of Africa Fashion Up and model.