WATCH: Arise Showcases 7 Top African Designers - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

(Image: Melissa Johnson/

With one amazing finale to New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the Made in Africa: by Arise Magazine show ushered in seven talented African designers.

More than 1,000 attendees witnessed the debut of Spring 2012 collections by: Kluk CGTD (worn by the likes of Beyonce and Charlize Theron); Bunmi Koko (whose designs have caught First Lady Michelle Obama’s eye); Pierre-Antoine Vetterello (who’s held posts at Balenciaga and Lagerfeld); Asibelua (with it’s Nigerian prints infused with modern cuts); Jewel by Lisa (a favorite of Solange Knowles and Kendall Jenner); Tsemaye Binitie (whose resume includes Stella McCartney); and Lanre Da Silva (who’s bright silhouettes are infamous for impeccable draping.)

Hosted by Arise Magazine, an international style publication that covers fashion, music, politics and culture, this year’s show featured runway sensation Sessilee Lopez and a closing performance by platinum-selling singer Leona Lewis.

It was the second Arise show in the U.S., with its premiere show launch in 2009, featuring cameos by pop icon Grace Jones and fashion industry powerhouses Tyson Beckford, Alek Wek, and Liya Kebede. got exclusive backstage access to talk to design duo Malcolm KLuK and Christiaan Gabriel Du Toit of KLuk CGTD; Vetterello and Binitie, each of their respective namesake lines; and Lisa Folawiyo, of Jewel by Lisa, on how their diversity, history, and love for Africa inspired their Spring 2012 collections:

(Videographer: Melissa Johnson)

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.