Culture meets chic designs. African Fashion Week invades the Windy City, at the Jackson Junge located 1389 North Milwaukee street, with a fresh take on traditional cultural fabrics. Designers from different countries in Africa display their passion for fashion. Founder and coordinator of African Fashion Week Chicago, Christianah Ajanaku, in an interview Wednesday, Sept 24, expressed her excitement to premiere her love for fashion and tells of her inspiration to start such a dynamic cultural shift in Chicago.
Born to Nigerian parents, Christianah was raised in the Windy City and became acclimated to the hustle and bustle of city life. Degreed in Communications from SIU, however creatively she gravitated to fashion. Noticing the growing demographics of Africans locating to Chicago and the underrepresentation of stylish African fashion in the city, Christianah was determined to make African Fashion Week a mainstay.
Chicago is well known for many things. The skyline, Giordano’s deep pan pizza, Garrett’s Popcorn, and the Magnificent Mile are just some of the attractions. To say the least, Chicago with all its popularity is not one of the top cities recognized for its fashion sense, let alone African fashion. With this in mind, Christianah spoke to personnel in Cultural Affairs and Special Events department of the city of Chicago and piqued their interest.
Christianah’s vision was to incorporate African designers with an eye for high fashion and African decent musical artists that have fused together their culture with American influences.
Attendees meet up and coming new artist Nola Adé, whose vocals and style are compared to the likes of Jill Scott and Chrisette Michele. Designers Jennifer Akese-Burney and Binta Sagale were among the creative minds that showcased their beautiful fashions on the cat walk.
This is only the beginning of success for African Fashion Week in Chicago. Congratulations to Christianah Ajanaku and staff for an amazing production.