Destination Africa Fashion Show

Amber Borden, Contributing Writer

On April 24, 2017, St. John’s students checked into Carnesecca Arena to board the flight to Destination Africa. Doors opened at 7 p.m. and seats were filling up by the minute. The African Students Association (ASA) curated the fashion show with assistance from Haraya.  

DJ Supersmashbroz was located at the head of the runway and he warmed up the incoming crowd with music by Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Usher, and other hip-hop and R&B classics. The African Student Association also included a vendor whose booth was located amidst the audience. Chinna Njoku the creator of Hurr Curr “Protect Your Crown” was proudly seated at her booth. “Our mission is to be comfortable in your own skin,” Njoku said.

Two hosts who were dressed in African attire and welcomed the audience. The hosts used comedy laced with thick African accents to garner the audience’s attention. One of the hosts exclaimed that the key to African style is swagger. “Everything is swagger,” he said.  The hosts then said a quick prayer and the plane to Destination Africa was ready for take off.

Multicolored lighted and buzzing African music enraptured the audience until the first set of models stepped onto the runway. The crowd was in awe at the stunning African clothing being modeled and erupted in applause. The runway was designed like the letter “X” and four models stood at each end of the runway.  Suddenly after those models left the runway a sea of models wearing all black flooded the runway all-walking in unison.  

Following the opening act, flight attendants who were sitting among the passengers, asked the audience trivia questions about Africa. Those who answered correctly received a water bottle. Questions ranged from what is the official language of Ethiopia and what is the largest country in Africa.  

The second act showcased a collection of scarves. Head scarves as well as shawls designed by Aisha.  “I wanted to showcase pride and diversity,” said Aisha.

The following collection had a combination of traditional African attire with a modern day twist.  Hoodies was the popular clothing item being modeled. One of the male models zipped his hoodie up from the front, causing him to walk the runway blind. The audience cheered and screamed both in amazement and nervousness.  

The collection also included vests, blazers, and shirts for menswear. Women’s wear showcased matching outfits sets like crop tops and skirts. Joggers, evening gowns, and day dresses were included in the women’s wear portion of the collection.

As models walked the runway, people in the audience would cheer on their friends.  Marian Sepulveda came to support her friend Anthony Almadovar who was a model in the show. “He is a lifelong friend of mine, and he wants to go into modeling, so I came to support him,” said Marian.

In between collections, the hosts would entertain the audience and even challenged the audience to a dance battle. The hosts wanted to see whom in the crowd had the best “Milly Rock”. It boiled down to a battle of the sexes, with Todd and Nadia going head to head. Ultimately Nadia won the battle.

Getting back on board Kira Nicole’s collection played up color and the flirtatious style of women’s clothing. Stand out pieces were the mermaid gown with green, red, and beige patterns as well as a dress whose coloring looked like the wings of a monarch butterfly. Kira Nicole incorporated tulle and capes as the wow factor to some of her clothing pieces.

The Queen E collection showcased not only clothing but accessories too. Bags with intricate designs on them were paired with outfits with intense patterns. The Queen E collection played with textures, layers, and patterns as the design aesthetic.  The designer’s purpose was to bring out the royalty in girls.  

By the end of the show the President and Vice President of ASA, along with other key members of the African Students Association came out to thank the crowd. Destination Africa was a major success and the audience will be looking forward to next year’s Destination Africa fashion show.