The inspiration of Africa in the world of fashion and music will take a bold leap at the 19th Diaspora Showcase Africa, presenting the collections of London based multi award winning fashion designer Kwame Koranteng from Ghana, Vogue and Elle featured VanElse brand by Else Hardjopawiro from Suriname, the amazing Africa Collection of Maria K Adeeko from Nigeria, and two other designers from Africa.

The event with offices in Tucson will be hosted by Victoria Williams, April 16, 2022, at Mesa Arts Center.

The evening also will feature “Koras and Guitars” with Kora in- strumentalist Karamo Susso, bassist Fernando Perdomo, guitarist Jason Tamba and singer-songwriter, Bumi Thomas. This musical performance will explore the acoustic interpre- tations of South Africa’s legendary singer, Miriam Makeba songs.

Over the years, many notable and Grammy award-winning musicians have performed at the Diaspora Showcase Africa.

The pre-show starts with Glendon Gross Quintet and a taste of African cuisine.

Since 2004, Diaspora Showcase Africa has presented the collections of award-winning designers that have been featured in several prints and broadcast media, including Vogue, ESSENCE, Black Elegance, The New Yorker, CNN and Elle.

The fashion statement and styles of Adeeko are made with pronounced embroidery of different colors, machine and hand woven, bias binding (satin) and window laces of various patterns. Her common fabric decorating techniques include applique designs, sewn on in contrasting fabrics with brightly colored threads, and dyeing. Fabrics such as Ankara, adire, brocade, and linen are used in making the different styles. She has developed a style that is unique to the culture and form of the People of West Africa.

Else emerged on the fashion scene in 2012, after many years of a very successful career as a CEO, in different organizations in the Netherlands. A Surinamese, with Indonesian heritage, she has become known for her floating garments. Inspired by architecture, the geometric lines, shapes, and technical insights can been seen in the attention to details, colorful linings of her garments, and the constructivist silhouettes, which is becoming a distinct signature in the formation of her style.

In early 2015, she earned Top 5 honors at the Africa Fashion Week in Barcelona and London, which later led to her first USA runway show at the Diaspora Showcase Africa, in Tucson, and The African Fashion Show in Geneva, Switzerland. Vogueand Elle noted her as a new emerging designer. The VanElse brand was featured recently, in the 2022 Spring Milan Fashion Week.

Koranteng presenting his collection for the second time at the Diaspora Showcase Africa is a renowned multiple award winning bespoke designer and stylist for men and women based in London. After working for George bespoke Tailors as the head designer, Koranteng joined KGTKKT couture in 2009, which is now called Kwame Koranteng Bespoke Tailoring, as the head designer and stylist. His fashion philosophy, is to blend his personalflair with the typical formal wear, to create individual and unique statement pieces with attention to details and the use of bold colors. He won the Prestigious Beffta awards for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015. He has showcased his collections, on other international platforms, which includes Africa Fashion Week Barcelona, Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam, The Royal Fashion Day London and in 2022 at the Spring London Fashion Week.

Diaspora Showcase Africa was created by Kwevi Quaye and debuted September 18, 2004, in Tucson, Arizona, as a fashion drama on the runway. The first show, “The Princess and the Porcupine,” was based on a script written by Quaye, the director and producer of the show, and co-produced by Professor Anselm Omoike and Felix Mensah Kolawole Quaye.

From the 2005 showcase , “The Wedding” to the 2015 “Jazz In Fashion” the Diaspora Showcase has received critical acclaims and awards for its portrayal of Africa, in a unique entertaining format, by integrating the sound and style of fashion, music, dance and culinary arts, from the five regions of Africa into a single show.

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