By Sinem Bilen-OnabanjoWith weeks to go to one of the most highly anticipated fashion events London is set to experience during the Olympics, Africa Fashion Week London - 60 designers under one roof at London Spitalfields in the capital's hip and happening Shoreditch, back to back runway shows and exhibition stalls showcasing the best of African and African-inspired fashion to over 10,000 guests over two days on 3rd and 4th August.
The mastermind behind AFWL, now in its second year, Ronke Ademiluyi gives us a glimpse into her world and what we can expect from this spectacular fashion extravaganza. Why did you decide to start Africa Fashion Week London?
AFWL was created to give African designers a platform to showcase their talents on a world stage which would enable them to get good value and attain global recognition both for their fabrics and their designs. Can you describe a typical working day?
My typical working day starts with checking my mails, responding to them, making and answering phone calls and attending meetings. These are exclusive of my normal daily activities like tending to my daughter's needs and spending time with my husband.Since the launch of Africa Fashion Week London, what has been your proudest moment to date?
My proudest moment since the launch of African Fashion Week London was seeing the turnout at last year's event and realising that we had created something of immense value.What's the best piece of business advice you have received?
It has to be that you need perseverance and determination to realise your ultimate goal; if you have the drive to continue working towards achieving your goals, you will make them happen.What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
The fact that a gap is being filled and AFWL has a positive effect on the African designers in creating a platform that will give the right promotion to every aspect of the African fashion industry, on the global scene. That will enable designers, fabric makers, models, dealers, everyone that is involved in African fashion to have a reason to be happy with what they are doing because they are getting the right recognition. I get motivated by the fact that I have to succeed in whatever I do.What have been the highlights of running your own business?
The highlight has been and continues to be having the opportunity to meet and work with so many different, creative and talented people.What is the most important advice you would give to young people looking for a career in fashion?
Just focus on your dreams and what you want to achieve. Sometimes things may not turn out the way you would hope for them to, especially due to financial challenges we are all facing currently, but don't be disheartened and keep at it. With focus and the right mindset, you can make your dreams come true.What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Africa Fashion Week London?
This year working with an amazing team and with reputable sponsors supporting us including Mizani who are bringing on board their celebrity stylists, MoneyGram, our media partner FAB Magazine and of course Spitalfields who are making it possible for us to have such a grand venue at a heavily discounted rate, we aim to bring a world class show to a 10,000 strong audience. For the future, the dream is to make AFWL the biggest African inspired fashion event in Europe.