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The Daily Wildcat

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African Students’ Association hosts 4th annual cultural fashion show

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

An assortment of African clothes and patterns.  

Applause erupted as models walked down the runway.

The African Students’ Association drew a diverse crowd to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tucson – Reid Park Saturday, Nov. 17 in celebration of the group’s annual cultural fashion show. Approximately 250 people attended.

The ASA is a student-run organization made up of an array of African students from varying backgrounds with the aim of preservation of African culture. By creating this fashion show, they not only said they want to bring awareness of the great African and Caribbean designers in Tucson but ultimately also to educate the audience on the culture.

Marissa Freeman, one of the organizers of the ASA Cultural Fashion Show, said this will be their fourth annual fashion show. 

“The designs incorporated in the fashion show are from African and Caribbean designers from around the world,” Freeman said. 

The collections of different designers were brought to life on the runway, including work from D&K Fashion Boutique, which provided a variety of traditional African styles. 

Lisa Scott, owner of D&K, said she prides herself on using, “superior grade African fabrics to create modern styles that can be worn by everyone.”

          RELATED: The African Students’ Association brings the diverse cultures of Africa to campus in its annual fashion show on Saturday

Some of the many designers at the event have participated in other fashion shows countrywide, such as New York Fashion Week and Phoenix Fashion Week. 

African prints dominated the runway as models like Nigerian UA senior Nikky Adeniran, Gabonese UA senior Bella Carol and Nigerian UA junior Asiedu Owusu modeled flowing dresses, dashikis and an abundance of unconventional fashion statements and bold headpieces.

While models prepared themselves to grace the runway, the fashion show showcased many performances to keep the audience interactive throughout. A dancing competition was held for a cash prize and singing and dancing performances were to predominantly African and Caribbean music.

One of the student models at the annual ASA Cultural Fashion Show on Saturday, Nov. 17.
One of the student models at the annual ASA Cultural Fashion Show on Saturday, Nov. 17.

After contending with an initially reluctant crowd to participate in the dancing competition, a prize of $100 was announced, and the first person to bustle to the stage was Eseoghene Folasade, a Nigerian attendant. Although she did not win the cash prize, she congratulated her competitors.

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“I love being African,” said Tolu Onigbinde, an engineer who came to the event after hearing about it at his stay at the DoubleTree. “I remember when I was a kid it was almost frowned upon to be African, and everyone made fun of you. I’m glad to see the growth and acceptance of this culture. I am truly amazed.” 

“I hope we get a lot more designers to join the fashion show next year. It gives good practice for designers and models,” said 29-year-old first-time attendee Jordon Castor. “It’ll be exciting to see how they can teach us more about their culture by designs and music, dancing.”

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