Hi BellaStylistas! It’s Isoken and every month, I’ll be sharing a short letter spotlighting our monthly theme from my personal perspective and giving you an idea of some of the amazing content we have planned. For October, our theme is #FashionWeekFever.

Editor-At-Large Isoken Ogiemwonyi introduces the BellaNaija Style’s #FashionWeekFever theme for October.

Welcome to October!

Fashion Week is often a subject treated simultaneously with levity and seriousness – depending on who you’re talking to, but fashion week is important to me for showcasing one very important fact. Whether you get distracted by the mind-blowing and often thought-provoking collections shown, a major reason for the flourishing scene for both conceptual and commercial African fashion, is that it buttresses this one particular truth. 

Africa is not a monolith. 

This is something  that has been discussed in depth over and over again, and at no time is it more crystal clear than at the continent’s most prominent fashion weeks. From Lagos Fashion Week’s runway and international press extravaganza to Africa Fashion International’s Johannesburg Fashion Week– we see a stunning mix of ancient and modern, fresh and traditional, with designs and défilés running the gamut from fabrications and colourways to shapes and sizes.

At AFI  Fashion Week  we saw raw exuberance from Kahindo’s collaboration with Nigerian artist Dipo Doherty, extravagant maximalism from David Tlale and a quiet minimalist elegance from Matt Nolim. This range of talent and execution mirrors the plethora of people, languages and tribes we have on the continent – but it also shows us that at the very core we are the same. One continent, one family, one people. And what brings us together is more than what we divides us. 

With a new school of designers using their work to highlight or challenge difficult social (Orange Culture and toxic masculinity); global conversations (Kenneth Ize and sustainability); or simply championing our heritage and re-working ancient techniques and motifs for a new audience (Fruche, Maki Oh, NACK Apparel). Lagos Fashion Week gives me hope that as we continue to grow and change, as well as keep up with the times, we can explore our history and heritage through the lens of fashion, and simultaneously keep the culture moving forward.

On a less serious note, we can’t wait to see all of the exhilarating street style, chic runway looks and fashion parties that encourage us to explore different sides of our personalities. I encourage everyone to try and celebrate and admire difference, enjoy the liberating effect of fashion and shamelessly update and recreate our wardrobes with authentic African fashion.

And finally, don’t forget to explore our regular features like Best Dressed of the Week, Ankara Styles We Love, Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week, Workwear Looks our Editors Love, fan favourite BellaStylista, Style Your Curves and Friday Fab Finds.

Have a great month!