Your Guide to the Top African Fashion Shows 2024 – ADJOAA
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Your Guide to the Top African Fashion Shows 2024

Embarking on a journey across the diverse landscapes of African fashion weeks opens the door to a world where tradition meets runway glamour and cultural heritage is celebrated with every stitch. In this guide, we navigate the vibrant tapestry of fashion weeks spanning the African continent — from the bold and colourful prints of West Africa to the intricate beadwork of the south. Join us as we unveil the dates, designers, and distinctive styles showcased in these dynamic events, exploring the unique narratives that define the world of African fashion weeks.

Northern Africa

North African fashion is a captivating blend of cultural heritage, historical influences, and contemporary styles, reflecting the unique identities of the countries in the northern region of the African continent. North African designers often incorporate geometric patterns, vibrant colours, and luxurious fabrics into their creations, drawing inspiration from diverse landscapes and cultural tapestries. North African fashion is celebrated for its elegance, cultural authenticity, and the ability to seamlessly blend the past with contemporary influences, making it a distinctive and influential force in the global fashion scene.

Egypt Fashion Week

This is one of the newest fashion weeks to come out of Africa since Egypt Fashion Week (EFW) had its first edition in Cairo in May 2023. The event started off strong with around 70 designers who created pieces inspired by Egypt’s intricate history. The mission of EFW is to look at the past and present of Egyptian fashion to shape the future of the industry. The three-day event features both runway shows and interactive shows that are as educational as they are entertaining. 

Marrakech Fashion Week 

Marrakech Fashion Week (MFW) is always looking towards the future of African fashion. The event runs for six days and has been around since 2017. It is a chance for designers from different backgrounds and styles to broaden their horizons. MFW is not only a chance to share one’s pieces and creative visions with the world but also a chance to expand that vision and exchange ideas with fellow creatives. MFW also takes care of the logistics for their creatives, all the way from models, lighting, stage management and much more. 

Eastern Africa

Designers in Eastern Africa often intertwine contemporary aesthetics with their cultural roots, seamlessly blending traditional motifs and craftsmanship into modern attire. Cities such as Nairobi and Addis Ababa have emerged as vibrant fashion hubs, showcasing a distinctive fusion of urban and traditional styles. Eastern African fashion is marked by its expressive use of bold patterns, vibrant hues, and a harmonious synthesis of the old and the new, creating a style that captivates both local and global audiences.

Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week 

The Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week (HAFW) takes place in Addis Ababa, the capital of the gorgeous Ethiopia. HAFW is a week-long event every summer, which has been a champion of promoting African fashion since 2010. Key features of HAFW which facilitate growth in the pan-African fashion industry include: runway shows, networking opportunities, exhibitions and conferences that help emerging artists understand the ins and outs of the fashion industry. These conferences cover the physical mechanics of sewing such as pattern-making to the legal aspects like securing intellectual property rights. 

Nairobi Fashion Week

Nairobi Fashion Week (NFW) is a nationally recognised fashion event in Nairobi, Kenya in the last week of November. NFW is about uplifting and promoting African designers from national and international backgrounds. NFW also supports all creatives involved in the fashion industry, from fashion designers to models, make-up artists and photographers. This contribution and effort were recognised in 2016 when NFW won “FASHION EVENT OF THE YEAR” at the KenyaBuzz People’s Choice Awards. In addition, over 125 fashion designers have featured in NFW’s 14 shows. It is an all-rounder event designed to support the African creative industry as a whole. 

Swahili Fashion Week 

The mission of Swahili Fashion Week (SFW) is to promote fashion designers from the East African region and Swahili-speaking countries. It is a showcase and workshopping platform which aims to promote and help uplift East African fashion practices. The message and mission of SFW are even embedded in the logo, which resembles the kipepeo, the Swahili name for a butterfly. SFW helps designers get closer to realising their full potential and vibrancy. This fashion week is held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and in 2024 will occur in December.  

Central Africa

The fashion landscape in Central Africa is influenced by many ethnic groups, each with its unique traditions, fabrics, and designs. Traditional clothing plays a significant role, featuring garments like colourful robes, headwraps, and beaded accessories. Central African designers often blend traditional elements with modern styles, creating unique and innovative fashion pieces. While the fashion industry in Central Africa may not be as globally recognized as in some other regions, there is a growing movement to showcase the region's unique heritage and creativity through fashion events and collaborations

Congo Fashion Week 

Congo Fashion Week (CFW) highlights the artistic achievements of Congolese and African fashion designers in Kinshasa/Brazzaville of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during winter. Congo Fashion Week serves as a prominent platform in the DRC by providing a showcase for both emerging and established local designers. CFW embraces a diverse range of cultural influences and often features traditional fabrics, vibrant colours, and designs inspired by the rich heritage of the region. This fashion week aims to celebrate local talent and foster connections between Congolese designers and the broader international fashion industry.

Southern Africa

Southern African fashion is a dynamic fusion of tradition and modernity, reflecting the rich cultural diversity of the area. From the vibrant patterns of shweshwe fabric in South Africa to the intricate beadwork of the Ndebele people, Southern African designers infuse traditional elements with contemporary and innovative styles. With a growing emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices, the region's fashion scene continues to captivate the world with its unique and authentic expressions of style.

Batho Fashion Week 

Described as the “pulse of Botswana’s fashion industry”, Batho Fashion Week (BFW) is a three-day event that takes place annually and in 2024 will take place from the 9th to 11th of August. It is Botswana’s only fashion event and takes place in Kasane, a unique town known for being a popular tourist destination and also a place where four countries meet: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. BFW aims to encourage fashion tourism, a budding industry. Batho itself is a relatively new fashion week that started in 2021 but has garnered support and is already becoming a prime tourist location for fashionistas from all over the world. 

South Africa Fashion Week 

South Africa Fashion Week Is biannual and occurs once in April for the Spring/Summer collection and again in October for Winter/Autumn. The events during this fashion week are diverse and include talent search competitions, social activities, product launches and, of course, runways. The range of fashion products is also diverse as well with jewellery, footwear, artisans, retailers and much more. At SAFW, there is ample opportunity for African fashion designers and textile manufacturers to strengthen their business and brand by selling products to various boutiques, shops and private buyers as well.  

South African Menswear Week

Held in Cape Town, South Africa, South African Menswear Week (SAMW) focuses on creative African innovations in the menswear industry. The two-day event is biannual and occurs in the Summer and Winter fashion seasons. In 2023, the event took place in April and September, so it is likely similar dates will be chosen for this year. SAMW is heavily inspired by the menswear events at London Fashion Week. It is currently the only platform that focuses on the promotion and development of the African menswear industry.  

Western Africa

West African fashion is a vibrant and diverse tapestry that reflects the region's rich cultural heritage. Characterised by traditional fabrics like Kente cloth, the fashion landscape incorporates a harmonious blend of traditional garments such as dashikis and agbadas with contemporary designs. The influence of West African celebrities, skilled textile artisans, and the global impact of designers have collectively propelled the region's fashion onto the international stage. With a dynamic fusion of tradition and innovation, West African fashion continues to captivate audiences with its expressive and unique styles.

Accra Fashion Week

Hosted in the beautiful capital city of Accra in Ghana and is one of the biggest annual events in African fashion. But what makes this fashion week particularly special is that AFW is not afraid to experiment with the format of the show. In 2023, AFW mixed things up by having the show during the day instead of the usual nighttime showcases. The event runners also added a new mini-show: Protest Fashion, which aims to challenge the same old conventions of fashion and inspire fresh ideas from fashion designers.  

ARISE Fashion Week

Another fashion week held in Lagos, Nigeria, ARISE Fashion Week occurs annually and distinguishes itself from other fashion weeks by being a celebration of African artistic endeavours. Musical performances have also found a voice through ARISE with the 2023 edition of the event being both a fashion week and a jazz festival. Models such as Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones and Alec Wek have graced the ARISE stage along with the musical talents of Solange, Wizkid, Tinie Tempah and many other Black artists. So, it’s safe to say ARISE Fashion Week is one of the biggest artistic events on the African continent. 

Dakar Fashion Week 

Founded in 2002, Dakar Fashion Week (DFW) is a celebration of Senegalese and pan-African fashion in a spectacular show of glitz and glamour, usually occurring in the first week of December. Designers hail from diverse African backgrounds and include creatives from Mali, Morocco, South Africa and, of course, Senegal. For over two decades, DFW has been an iconic event in the African fashion industry, providing a platform and opening doors for emerging Black designers. The event itself is about empowerment and owning the past as well as the future. DFW’s 20th anniversary took place on the island of Gorée, which has been historically associated with slavery but is now being reclaimed as a place of better and more hopeful futures. 

Glitz Africa Fashion Week 

Run by Glitz Africa magazine, this fashion week is also held in Accra, Ghana. The combination of beauty forums, runways and industry insights shows that fashion is not just skin-deep. Since this fashion week is run by a popular magazine, the event is about contributing to the conversation of how fashion fits in with the modern media landscape because culture influences fashion and vice versa. So, in October of every year, experts in the industry alongside up-and-coming fashion creatives have a chance to get together and exchange new ideas and insider tips. 

GTCO Fashion Weekend 

Guaranty Trust (GTCO), an African and multinational financial service company based in Nigeria is behind GTCO Fashion Weekend. The mission behind this fashion weekend is to promote entrepreneurship in the fashion industry by supporting African fashion designers in both a commercial and creative sense. This involves providing masterclasses run by fashion industry experts alongside runway shows that showcase African stories through a fashion-based lens. The fashion weekend itself occurs every year in November. 

Lagos Fashion Week 

Lagos Fashion Week (LFW) is one of the biggest shows on the African continent. It is a five-day event that takes place in Lagos, the capital of one of Africa’s most diverse and populous countries: Nigeria. The event has typically attracted designers and models from all over the world. But recently, the event has also been gaining international recognition on a commercial scale. For example, in 2022 a private enterprise called the Bestseller Foundation, which provides financial support to businesses that have a positive social impact, sponsored LFW.  

Rhythm on Da Runway

Rhythm on Da Runway (ROD) is held in Accra, Ghana, with the 2024 edition of the event slated to launch on the 2nd of December. ROD is a platform that brings together a diverse array of participants from the fashion industry, music, acting, sports, politics, and the creative sector. The event also takes care to highlight important social issues, last year’s edition focussed on Sustainable Development Goal Six (SDG-6) regarding clean water and sanitation. The event features a blend of traditional African rhythms, contemporary music, and captivating runway displays by African designers.


African fashion has gained global prominence with events like Africao Fashion Week London and Afro Fashion Week Milan showcasing the work of African and African-inspired designers. Recently, African designers have gained visibility on the international stage, challenging perceptions and contributing to the global fashion dialogue. These events provide a platform for celebrating the richness and diversity of African fashion outside of the continent.

Africa Fashion Week London

African Fashion Week London (AFWL) annually transforms London city into a celebration of African fashion and cultural richness. The event provides a dynamic platform for African fashion designers of all experience levels to tell cultural stories through the medium of fashion. The weeklong event becomes a testament to the boundless creativity and innovation within African fashion. By challenging stereotypes and fostering global appreciation, Afro Fashion Week London contributes significantly to the growing recognition of Africa’s influence in the international fashion arena. Beyond its fashion focus, the event fosters networking, collaboration, and cultural exchange, shaping London's fashion landscape.

Afro Fashion Week Milan

Afro Fashion Week Milan (AFWM) celebrates African fashion and culture in the heart of Milan, Italy. Showcasing a dynamic array of African designers, the event highlights Africa's rich diversity, drawing inspiration from various traditions, fabrics, and aesthetics. With a focus on runway shows and presentations, AFWM provides a global platform for both established and emerging designers to exhibit their collections to industry professionals, buyers, and fashion enthusiasts. Beyond fashion, the event incorporates cultural activities, performances, and exhibitions, fostering collaboration and contributing to the global recognition of Africa's vibrant fashion scene. 

CANEX @ Portugal Fashion Week

In collaboration with the African Export–Import Bank’s Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), Portugal Fashion Week (PFW) invites African fashion designers to have the chance to showcase their work. The latest CANEX @ PFW event will happen from the 12th to the 16th of March 2024. The CANEX @ PFW initiative serves as a vital platform to introduce African designers to the international stage. Through mentorship from industry experts, the program empowers designers with skills to build financially sustainable businesses. Since its October 2021 debut, the program has engaged 60 African designers from 25 countries, offering runway showcases, exhibitions, mentorship, and networking opportunities, connecting designers with press, investors, manufacturers, and buyers for comprehensive industry exposure.

But there’s always more… 

The fashion events included in this guide only scrape the surface of the diverse fashion industry in Africa. As time goes on, this list will grow and even the nature of these fashion weeks will change in response to the dynamic and ever-changing fashion industry. The same goes for the many African fashion brands that feature in these innovative fashion showcases. 

If you want to see for yourself what the African fashion industry has to offer, the ADJOAA platform is a great place to start. We have over 100 luxury African fashion brands, many of whom have featured in the fashion events listed above.



Image credit -  Looks from Fruche's Spring 2019 runway show at Lagos Fashion Week in October 2018. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images via Lagos Fashion Week 


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