WELCOME TO THE FIRST EMERGE ALARA AWARDS, ALÁRA’S SEARCH FOR THE BRIGHTEST AFRICAN CREATIVE TALENT.

WINNER

Faith Oluwajimi, creative director of Bloke was announced the winner of The Emerge ALÁRA Awards 2018. Faith Oluwajimi will receive a grant to produce a collection and an opportunity to be stocked at ALARA. He will also receive mentorship from industry leaders.

Faith Oluwajimi

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, BLOKE

Emerge ALÁRA – THE FASHION EDITION 2018 FINALISTS

FINALISTS

Faith Oluwajimi

Faith Oluwajimi

Bloke

BLOKE is under the creative direction of self-taught 22 years old designer Faith Oluwajimi. BLOKE is not just a label with a penchant for knitwear and well thought out garments, it is also a community of people who are spiritually conscious, art lovers and unconventional with an African identity. BLOKE was established as an independent brand in 2013 and is based in Lagos, Nigeria. BLOKE is an androgynous label that designs well thought out garments that are quirky, and artsy with a masculine meets feminine aesthetic. It is a brand which continually explores the possibilities for the creation of garments, knitted and beyond. A non-follower of trend which rather takes pride in setting trends. The brand has gathered a strong following from notable fashion editors such as Elisa Zaccanti and Sara Maino, and has also been featured in international press such as Vogue Italia, Business of Fashion, Pansy Mag, L'Officiel Italia, WGSN, Hunger Magazine, Native Mag amongst many others. The Brand was recently chosen as one of the 200 Fashion Brands changing Fashion globally by Vogue Talents and Vogue Italia.

Abiola Olusola

Abiola Olusola

Abiola Olusola

Abiola A. Olusola, is a contemporary womenswear brand inspired by African women, particularly Yoruba women. I try to re-imagine the style and lifestyle of modern Yoruba women between the 50's and 70's and translate their style to today's aesthetic. The Abiola Olusola woman is an intellectual woman. She is cultured, she is powerful, confident and she does not dress to be beautiful; her clothes don't define her. Hence, her style is effortless and there is an ease to how she carries herself. She favours comfort and functionality with a hint of sensuality.

Kanyinsola Onalaja

Kanyinsola Onalaja

Onalaja

Onalaja is a contemporary womenswear brand, known for its high craft experimentalism. It was founded by Kanyinsola Onalaja following her graduation from Istituto Marangoni, Accademia di Costume E Moda. She has worked with brands such as Christopher Kane and Giles Deacon Couture. Onalaja presents an imaginative concept of culture, heritage, luxury and a contemporary appreciation of beauty through its highly crafted, artisanal and textile manipulated pieces. Additionally to the Brands DNA, an underlying concept within all Onalaja collections always remains “Our Heritage Re-Imagined – The Africa We Don’t See”, re-imagining heritage interpretation and the language of tradition. Onalaja aims to create a form of communication and interaction that fuses Onalaja’s Nigerian heritage and flair for the artisanal craftsmanship, with Italian design aesthetics and the formality of British fashion.

Akudo Iheakanwa

Akudo Iheakanwa

Shekudo

Shekudo is a socially responsible accessories label manufactured in Lagos, Nigeria. The brand is shedding light on some of the age old traditions and often overlooked artisans. Every piece has a story, and so too does each individual working on our products. We create for the global woman, the spirited, bold and unapologetic woman who chooses to shine no matter her surroundings. The Shekudo woman is proud to adorn herself with beautiful things, especially those with a rich and meaningful origin. Shekudo was founded by Nigerian-Australian born Akudo Iheakanwa who felt the need to contribute to the manufacturing sector in Nigeria in a sustainable way, with a focus on tradition, technique and storytelling. My approach to design is minimalist. I create simple and chic clothes that I can wear. For me, it is about being comfortable but looking put together. I try not to over design and I use simple shapes, clean lines, subtle colours, while playing around with texture and print. I am inspired and influenced by other women in the global fashion scene, some because of their business ethics, others for their design aesthetics. Such women include Phoebe Philo for Celine, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for The Row.

Ekwerike Chukwuma

Ekwerike Chukwuma

Wuman

Ekwerike is a Nigerian fashion artist who strives to tell stories through his art and garments. Inspired by the female anatomy, he founded and creatively directs the fashion brand-WUMAN; known for a distinct aesthetic. Chukwuma sees fashion and art to exist in a sort of feto-maternal relationship and draws from this to create garments that are not just visually appealing but also culturally stimulating, modern and further highlights his African heritage.

Ladunni Lambo

Ladunni Lambo

Ladunni Lambo

The designer’s foray into the fashion world began as a student at Nottingham Trent University, where she studied fashion design. After graduating, she returned back home to Nigeria, where she presented her first collection as part of the Fashion Focus contest at Lagos Fashion and Design Week in 2013. Following her successful debut, Lambo joined Frankie & Co. as the head designer, ultimately launching her eponymous line in 2016. Her first official collection, A Wife for Nana, told the story of a young woman’s struggle to accept her arranged marriage to a village chief, and each subsequent collection play to the pulls of family, identity, tradition, and modernity in an increasingly polarized world. As the brand grows, Ladunni will continue to push boundaries in creativity, style and innovation, sharing her stories and beliefs through each collection. Her designs have since been worn by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is a champion for Nigerian-born brands.

ABOUT

ALÁRA is committed to the discovery, support, growth, and exposure of young creatives in Africa and its diaspora through the Emerge ALÁRA platform. With a focus on
  • Art
  • Cuisine
  • Design
  • Fashion
Emerge ALÁRA aims to select the most gifted in each discipline. Starting with the Emerge ALÁRA – The Fashion Edition this year, the most promising young designer and fashion media creative will be selected and offered the opportunity to present a retail collection and exhibition respectively, as well as receive mentorship from a carefully selected team of advisors. The platform will also provide structured support to the young designers currently in partnership with ALÁRA who apply for it’s Fellowship Program. Finalists will be selected based on talent, the originality of their concept, innovative techniques and craftsmanship. Judges decisions are final.

AWARDS

FASHION DESIGN

  • Exclusive collection to be financed and stocked at ALÁRA
  • Mentorship from an internationally acclaimed advisory board
  • Access to technical expertise and facilities

FASHION MEDIA

  • Exclusive exhibition to be financed and shown at ALÁRA
  • Mentorship from an internationally acclaimed advisory board
  • Access to technical expertise and facilities

GUIDELINES

Applicants must

  • Have a unique point of view that references African culture and heritage
  • Have produced at least 2 bodies of work
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30
  • Be of African descent (with proof of nationality)
  • Not have existing retail contracts
Finalists will be selected based on their originality of concepts, innovative techniques and craftsmanship. Judges decisions are final.
Panel of Judges for the First Emerge ALARA Awards for young African creatives at ALÁRA, VI Lagos. L-R Uzoma Dozie CEO Diamond Bank, Ronke Bamishedu Founder BWL, Reni Folawiyo Founder ALARA, Folake Coker Founder Tiffany Amber, Bola Adesola CEO Standard Chartered Bank, Helen Jennings Co- Founder Nataa

THE JUDGING PROCESS


Applications were received from Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, France, Nigeria, Switzerland and the USA in the fields of Fashion Apparel Design, Accessory Design, Photography and Filmmaking.

After four months of competition, including a cash grant to create a unique showpiece and a thorough vetting process by an esteemed panel of judges – Bola Adesola- CEO Standard Chartered Bank, Duro Olowu- International Award Winning Designer, Uzoma Dozie – CEO Diamond Bank, Folake Coker – Creative Director, Tiffany Amber, Helen Jennings – Co-founder, Nataal, Ronke Bamisedun – Founder, BWL PR Agency and Reni Folawiyo – Founder, ALÁRA, Faith Oluwajimi, was announced as the winner of the 2018 Emerge ALÁRA Awards on Saturday 27th October at the Finale Event during Lagos Fashion Week

RUNNERS-UP


In recognition of their incredible talent, craftsmanship, and originality, the judges decided to name Kayinsola Onalaja of Onalaja and Ekwurike Chukwuma of Wuman as runners-up. They will each receive business mentorship and the opportunity to retail at ALARA.