Fashion Weeks, the place to be when you live and breathe Fashion. And I do! Last week was the second edition of the African Fashion Week in Montreal. This new edition was daring. It was particular because it took place at Galerie MX bringing more diversity. The atmosphere was warm and chill. Guests could enjoy beautiful paintings and arts while waiting for the fashion show to start. On the first floor, as a guest you could go around stands, there were of jewelries, clothes and paintings ready for people to buy.

Via Julie Yango - @shilyxo
Via Julie Yango – @shilyxo

The show was beyond interesting, very refreshing. Like Kama said in her below interview : vivid colors and exotic were the key of the shows. All designers from different countries like Iran, Ghana, Nigeria,Haiti and more showed us diversity.

Our favorite collection was We Are Kings by Hector Jr who once again gave us a real work to enjoy like the other designers. He challenged the African prints with bright colours bringing authenticity.

Via Julie Yango - @shilyxo
Via Julie Yango – @shilyxo

Africa Fashion Week Montreal 2016

Our second favorite was Eldior who happened to win a price for the best designer. She’s from New York ! She brought energy and young blood throughout her whole collection. Yellow, blue , red, black and white were the main colors for the collections. A touch of freshness from all the designers.  The second edition was absolutely delightful and brand-new.

Africa Fashion Week Montreal 2016
Via Julie Yango – @shilyxo

My interview with Kama St-Juste

How did you come up with the African Fashion Week in Montreal?

Someone spoke to me about it (African Fashion Week) . So I looked into it and I realized there was a lot of African Fashion Week around the world. In the United States, Toronto and Africa as well. I kind of was interested because I have always wanted to create my own design but it was not for me because I do not like creating patterns and other stuff.

Then I saw an opportunity to promote some designers, there are a lot of talented fashion designers here but people do not know about them or the designers do not know how to get known. So, I decided to create this platform. Using the African Fashion Week as a way to promote designers because I really like to help people.

What is the best lesson that you have learned in the fashion industry? It’s a competitive and difficult world.

It is indeed very competitive but I have never been intimidated by competition. I believe that if it is your time, you are going to shine regardless of what you . It has never been a factor for me. Let’s just do it and do what you know. People will eventually know me and even if they do not know me the first time, they will eventually know me because you know the way that I created my stuff, the way the show will be presented. People are going to talk about it anyways.

Africa Fashion Week Montreal 2016

How did you impact the fashion industry?

I think so , I cannot speak for them. Creating the first year of African fashion Week in Montreal, people gave me testimonies on how it inspired them and it helped them for their goals. Basically they had a dream and I helped them fulfill that dream. That really made me happy. I did not create the show just for me or to get known. I am not the kind of person who likes to be on the spotlight. I like to be far away (laughs). Fans and designers are happy and fulfill their dreams. They feed the show.

Do you have any advice for fashion addicts, entrepreneurs ?

Step out of your comfort zone. Don’t hold back of what people are going to think or to say about you and your dreams. People will always going to talk, criticize or whatever. You should not let that stop from doing what you feel is right for you. Go for it. Sky is the limit , you never know what will happen.

Africa Fashion Week Montreal 2016
Kama St-Juste & Julie Yango

Where do you see AFW in the next few years?

This is the second year but I would like to go further than where we are right now. I am thankful for it. My team and I have some ideas about the show. It is not going to be a yearly fashion show. We have other things in mind that we want to do. We have to remember that our vision, our mission is to help others to fulfill their dreams.

Now we have created the fashion show, we also have two seminars, one is a Designer seminar and the other one is Be your own Boss seminar. It is two different things. We are excited , I kind of want to say it out loud but I guess I have to hold it back , just wait and let everybody be surprised. We have a lot of projects in mind.

In three words how would you describe an African fashion Week ?

Vivid colors, Exotic and Surprises (laughs)

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