It was 6pm, an hour after the scheduled arrival time, and in typical African style, a number of seats for the nearly sold out show were empty. Regardless, the event was going to start.
The Kitoko Fashion Show was the culminating event of African Fashion Week Houston (AFWH), situated in Houston’s trendy East Downtown (EaDo).
I was pleasantly impressed when I walked into the warehouse set up. It was a cut clean runway, curved out by silver chairs, a Voss water bottle under each seat and gift coupons for those lucky enough to snag a front row seat.
Adeàrà was the first designer of the night, opening with Ankara ensembles. Slowly, the room started to fill up and so did the cheers, especially for P.R. Customs who placed all types of body on the runway. It was a win.
Designers like House of Takura, Adot, Kachi and NMA Couture played around with different African materials, creating fun flirty pieces. The night was a perfect mix of catwalks and entertainment with casual laughs at popular comedian and host, Dulo’s tickling sense of humor, groovy music interludes and a bar area. Models strutted to African hits ranging from Davido’s top charting IF, to beloved classics like Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s Umqombothi.
The queen of the night was designer, Rocky Boston. Her showcase was a contemporary mix of floral-lace, mesh and sequins. Her creations were fresh and fiercely sexy.
The event was a visually and audibly exciting experience of modern African lifestyle in fashion and music. An undeniable highlight of the show was the inclusivity, not just with models but among designers too, like Hijabi, Tahra Al Alshaik who proudly showcased her Ankara creation on behalf of Art Institute of Houston.
AFWH has had incredible growth over the past four years. The organization has taken the forefront in pushing boundaries and giving Africa’s vibrant style and culture an admirable platform in Houston.