But to my great dismay and annoyance I came back to a number of negative reviews and comments that are floating around the web, Facebook, twitter etc and to put it mildly I am upset. My beef is not with members of the public or industry professionals that attended but by some of the comments of the designers that I feel are extremely ungrateful. Let me explain why;
Arise Magazine invited 50 designers from across the world to participate in AMFW and as part of the invitation they paid for the flights of the desi
Yes that's right all of the above was provided FREE and some designers had the audacity to moan and groan about the AMFW. Now hold on wait a minute, hear me out before you start asking what is my point – from the outset AMFW stated that they would choose 5 designers of their choice that they would fly to New York in September for the Arise New York Fashion Week gala show, which has become one of the hottest fashion shows at NYFW.
Now to the crux of the matter as to why I am upset is, as stated earlier a number of designers have been complaining about how the designers were chosen that would be going for NYFW and that AMFW had pre conceived ideas as to who they wanted to take and it was unfair and some of the designers feel slighted and that AMFW should have been upfront if they knew who they wanted to take to NYFW.
PAUSE – RETURN - Sorry people as I write this I had to go take a break and calm down before I continued as the words I would use to tell these designers about themselves would not be printable.
AMFW has the right to choose whomever they wish to go to NYFW, it is their money that they are spending so they can choose whomever they like and use whatever selection process they want to choose the 5 designers to go to NYFW, as far as I am concerned it does not have to be a fair and open process as the designer is not paying for anything. If the moaning designers don't like it then they can go into their bank account and come up with an average of $5,000 to $10,000 and find their own way to NYFW.
Even if the whole affair at AMFW was a shambles (which is wasn't) they still don't have the right to complain about anything that Arise did. In the rest of the fashion week world, designers have to pay a fee to be a part of the week as well as pay for pr, models and so much more out of their own pockets. Any designer that has participated in a fashion week and paid for it out of their own pocket would know how expensive it is.
I can tell you that AMFW must have spent at least 7 figures putting the fashion week together and designers not only got an all expenses paid trip but they also got to promote their business and talent at an international fashion week and for me that means don't be ungrateful, shut your mouth and use the talent God gave you to build your business and not moan and groan because you were not one of the 5 designers selected to go to new York – not everything in life is free.
Furthermore it is not good business sense to be openly critical as show producers like myself and others in the industry read your comments and will think twice about inviting you to participate in any of our shows and trust me if I were Arise I would never invite you to participate in any future shows.
PS: the five designers selected to represent Africa at the AMFW Gala in New York on September 14th 2011 during New York Fashion Week are Tsemaye Binitie, Jewel by Lisa, Bunmi Koko, Kluk CGTD and Pierre-Antoine Vetterello.
I can clearly remember 3 of the designers at AMFW Lagos and they are all worthy to go to NYFW along with any of the other 45 designers that participated in AMFW.
Hacking of Fashions Finest Website
Generally in my life I am an easy going person but when I get upset I get upset and it is dangerous to be around me. So I will say to the person or persons that hacked the Fashions Finest website and brought it down for two days you are soooo lucky I can't find you otherwise by now I would be on remand in Brixton prison for murder. I can't believe that after 8 months of hard work putting the website together and with many sleepless nights of putting the content on the site, which is ongoing, some lifeless, no good for nothing, I have nothing to do with my life, worthless fool decides it would be good fun to bring down some ones work. Fashions Finest is not the government or a big corporation website, so they picked on an easy target like FF. If you are a true hacker and think you got skills go bring down a fortune 500 company website, then I would have respect for you.
Anyway thanks to Zazel and the team behind Fashions Finest for working non stop for the past 2 days to get the site back up and running, you truly are superstars, also thank you to are avid fans and readers that sent emails and messages of concern that the site was down.
Hopefully my next blog would be more positive, tomorrows another day!
It's 6 am in the morning and I have just got back to my hotel after 20 hours of non stop waiting around, fashion shows and parties. I was fortunate enough to be asked by Fashions Finest to travel to Lagos, Nigeria to report on the Arise Magazine Fashion Week.
I arrived bright and early on the Thursday morning, rushed to the hotel dropped my luggage and headed straight for Federal Palace Hotel where the Arise Magazine Fashion Week was taking place and to my great surprise I was informed that all the shows scheduled for the Thursday had been cancelled, was I upset or what, but I quickly put that aside as I decided that I might as well use the time wisely and sort out my press accreditation. After waiting around for a couple of hours waiting for something to happen and nothing did, I decided that it might be best that I do something else with my time. To be fair though whilst hanging around at the Hotel I spent a useful two hours talking to the likes of Tewa (CEO Exquisite Magazine) and her Sister Tayo (CEO World PR), Ola Shobowale (Creative Director), Crystal (stylist), a number of international and Nigerian based designers and models (way to many to mention) and a whole lot of old friends. It was like one big massive reunion, for me that is as I seemed to know a lot of people there.
Back to my story, I decided to leave and I thought I would be smart and told a few people to call me when they started doing the press registration and I would rush back. 6 hours later no call and no registration, I was just so happy that I had decided to leave to go and do other things. I eventually came back to Federal Palace Hotel (FPH for short I can't keep typing out this long name) just in time to go for the after party. As you can see the concept of time means very little in Lagos.Anyways (as we say in Nigeria), I was hanging out with some Sierra Leonean designers and we left for the party, unfortunately way to early as when we got there nobody was there (yes I know you can tell that we are English), fortunately it was not too early that we were helping them set up. About 90 minutes later people started drifting in and we had a great evening with Dr Sid performing and doing a great set.
People I am leaving out a lot here otherwise you will be reading this blog for a week, so this is the extremely short version. The next day I did my English thing and arrived bright and early expecting the first show to start on time or at least only a little bit late. The little bit late happened to be 3 hours late. When the first show eventually kicked off I must say that besides my seating problem (which the Arise team eventually sorted out for me) the shows were very good. Going back to the seating issue, can you imagine there was no dedicated seat reserved for Fashions Finest, so you guys know me I had to make my point about this. After a very nice discussion they decided that it was a good idea to sort out seating for me. I have no idea why I am even telling this story especially when I am not giving the full details. Once again moving on, spent the whole day at FPH watching the different shows and I must be honest besides the enormous gaps between shows and them not sticking to the schedule of which I must say there is nothing wrong with that as even for our show coming up, Africa Fashion Week London it is in the terms and conditions that we can change the schedule without notice.
It really seems as if everyone travelled to Lagos for AMFW, some of the guests included ex models like Nigerian Supermodel Oluchi Onweagba (former Victoria Secrets Angel), Uti Nwachukwu (Big Brother Africa Winner), Genevieve Nnaji (Nollywood Actress), numerous socialites and celebrities and people from all over the world including a strong representation from London including designers such as Nkwo, Samantha Cole & Alexander Amosu. The international model contingent was strong and Aminat Ayinde (yes she is Nigerian) cycle 12 winner of Americas Next Top Model killed the catwalk, alongside Darego Agbani (first Black African to win Miss World) and they were backed up South African and other international models as well as our very own Uju Nwabodo, (runner up at Top Model of Colour UK 2011), she was one only two models chosen to walk at the big shows with the international models & even though Makida Moka (Face of Sleek Nigeria) is one of the shorter models – I apologise to anyone of any note that I have missed out.
I must tell you what happened when I watching my good friend Ituen Basi showing off an original collection and my phone started going non stop, now I am trying to be discreet and not look as if I was not interested in Ituen's show by looking at the phone but in the end I had no choice as it would not stop vibrating and I didn't want people to get the wrong idea about a vibrating phone and a man with a smile on his face (come on people get your mind out of the gutter, if you didn't get it then you need to get your mind in the gutter).
Finally I looked at the phone and I am getting BBM (black berry messenger) and texts from people in the UK saying that they just saw me on London ITV News as Ronke Phillips who is in Nigeria covering AMFW for London Tonight did a quick review of the show and yours truly somehow was shown. I can't believe that people were able to spot in this quick clip.
The final show finished at about 12 midnight, this is not a typo yes it did finish at that time with Tiffany Amber closing the show. It was a crazy first day which ended with me heading off to the after party at JJ Okocha's Club (former premiership footballer).
As usual you can see I did not do a review of the clothes and the designers as you will be seeing pictures of the show on Fashions Finest over the next few days.
Sorry but I have to rub it in, the weather here is fantastic and I off to bed to get ready for another day of great shows and parties – what a hard life I live.
When the story of Galliano's anti Semitic comments became public knowledge I first said it was the foolishness of drink that made him say such things, but when I analysed it further I thought that is a load of rubbish as drink actually gives you the courage to say what is really on your mind. So when he released his torrent of anti Semitic views he was actually saying what he has always been thinking (by the way all of the above is allegedly), at least until they find him guilty, cos he has been charged and sacked by Dior. So for him it has been a very very bad week and by the looks of things it is going to get worst.
By the way my enlightened readers be careful of what you say in private and in public as nowadays there are millions of people around with a phone ready to film or record what you say. The best thing is say nothing and always be politically correct in everything you say.
My top entertainment programme American Idol is back on the screens and after 6 weeks of watching the auditions and boot camp we have finally got down to the top 13 that will vie to be the American Idol.
Last year they got it all wrong with their selection of some of the contestants, but this year all of my favourites made it through, but what was very noticeable was that it took the judges wildcards to balance the mix of ethnicities as besides Jacob Lusk the boy can blow, America voted through an all American top 10, fortunately the judges redressed the imbalance by giving wild card entries to Naima Adedapo, Ashhton Jones and Stefano Langone. My all American look comment aside, I must be honest and say that it was the right Top 10.
Normally you have a few that stand out and you say he or she is going to win, this year it is not that easy to tell who is going to win. My favourites are Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, James Durbin and Scotty McCreery. For some reason I want the good old country boy Scotty to win that is if Jacob doesn't.
The one great thing I love about American Idol compared to X Factor is that this is a proper singing competition and the best singer wins.
I must be honest I have not even noticed that Simon Cowell is not there, that just goes to show how good a show it is, that it can stand alone and does not rely on one personality to make it work.
African Fashion Weeks...
African Fashion is on a massive revival and some top fashion weeks are taking place around the world including Arise Magazine Fashion Week taking place in Lagos from 10 to 13 March ARISE MAGAZINE FASHION WEEK SCHEDULE. What is with the complaints that it is mainly Nigerians taking part in the fashion week, which is not true by the way – but I do welcome your views.
Africa Fashion Week New York SCHEDULE taking place July 14 to July 16 and of course the best one of them all Africa Fashion Week London – 5 & 6 August, of course it is the best cause Mr Mahogany himself is producing AFWL.
As you can see Mr Mahogany is neutral and promotes all events including the competition - JOKE there is no competition as we are all here to promote fashion and support each other
During my life I have been fortunate in that I have seen many firsts, segregation coming to an end in the United States, Nelson Mandela being released from prison in South Africa, the Berlin Wall coming down between West & East Germany, the
Let's get down to the nitty gritty cos this is not about who attended but about "the journey" of The Mirror Boy, besides Africa United there has never to my knowledge been an African film premiere in the West End and this one I am sure of, there has never been a Nollywood p
Forget Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Libya there were more people on the streets of the West End then people that have been protesting in all of those countries combined, ok a little bit of exaggeration, well quite a bit of exaggeration but my point is that at the premiere itself there were over 1000 in the cinema and another 500 people stuck outside that could not get in.
Once you managed to get in, you had to fight your way through the media scrum, numerous photographers and film crews from all over interviewing the celebrities and stars in attendance. Beautiful hostesses provided by Mahogany Models who were well managed by Chantelle Hall.
Up until now I thought ok a little bit hectic and then it happened, the room became electric and if were not in London we would have had a power outage due to the surge of energy that entered the room as soon as Genevieve Nnaji, Osita Iheme & Fatima Jabbe arrived, even I was overwhelmed by how manic it became for a minute I thought that Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith had arrived.
Hey if you were at the event and I am telling you what you already know, tough – this is for those that were not there or did not get to see some of the inner workings or what was going on.
The story continues – we got into the hall and I sat with Genevieve, Osita, Fatima and the young child actor Edward Kagutuzi (well he is not that young, about 20 really), right at the front. By the way sitting at the front at a major cinema is not cool, it's like the screen is about to eat you up and everyone in the movie looks like giants. A question and answer session took place and the film started.
The Movie: I have decided not to do a critic of the film as for me The Mirror Boy was about the history it was making more than how good or bad the film was, but in short it is a good movie, great sound
The length of the movie was just right and as soon as it finished there was plenty of back slapping and hi fives and lots of quick networking – "call me let's talk" networking and those of us that had some energy left and went off to the after party to shake a leg or two, still aching now I am really too old for this shake a leg thing.
I am proud that I, Mahogany Models and Fashions Finest were actively involved in this historic occasion but the real Kudos must go to Obi Emelonye (Director), Patrick Campbell (Producer), Charles Thompson (Consulting Producer) & DJ Abass who worked their magic to not only make this movie but also to have the foresight, the vision and the balls to do a premiere in the West End and trust me it takes cahooneys to do such a thing.
It feels a bit like the ending of apartheid, the West End is no longer just for mainstream movie premieres.
For those of you that want to read about the more serious stuff of the premiere watch out for the reports on Fashions Finest by our reporter Olakumbi Akiwumi & red carpet pictures by Fashions Finest Photographers Kenneth Asia & Trevor Fogah-Griffiths.