In the inaugural edition of Africa Fashion Up, a showcase for African designers powered by Share Africa, Nigerian designer Emmanuel Okoro took home first place with his Emmy Kasbit SS22 collection, featuring his traditional West African weaving techniques.

The competition was open to African designers under 40 whose brands are at least two years old and have produced a minimum of two ready-to-wear collections.

According to WWD, Emmanuel was one of five designers shortlisted for the event in Paris, organized by the Share Africa platform in partnership with Balenciaga, which will mentor the finalists for six months.

He took to his Instagram to share the good news:

It has always been our dream to showcase our collection on a worldwide platform and doing so for the first time in Paris is a dream come true for us at Emmy Kasbit

We would like to thank @shareafricalive for such an amazing award and platform. We are indeed very grateful. A special thank you goes to the Pink Mango Group @asantii_official headed by @marysembo and @anglinvanessa for believing in us and pushing us forward for this. Our heart is full of joy and gratitude

ASANTII is a contemporary Pan-African fashion brand celebrating African heritage and craftsmanship through modern, effortless apparel and accessories. Proudly and conscientiously designed and made in Africa.

ASANTII, founded with a strong belief in the potential of African creatives and embracing talent, held under the ethos of PRIDE, WISDOM & GRATITUDE

ASANTII is a sustainable and socially responsible brand made in Rwanda, with a focus on UBUNTU, or giving back. Each collection is made in materials primarily sourced in Africa, with ongoing and meaningful support for the continent’s fashion, garment and textile industries and its workers front and centre.

Among the other participants was Guy Fabrice -Sullivan, creator of the Zaady label; Zak Koné, also from Ivory Coast, founder of eveningwear brand Pelebe; Baay Sooley and Laure Tarot, the designers behind Senegalese streetwear brand Bull Doff, and Natasha Jaume and Carina Louw, founders of South African women’s wear brand Erre.