After a thorough vetting process, 6 designers have been selected as finalists for Emerge ALÁRA – The Fashion Edition 2018. Emerge ALÁRA is a pan-African search for the brightest young creatives in fashion this year, and the other fields of art, cuisine and design in the future.

Hundreds of applications were received from Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, France and the USA, with the 6 finalists chosen based on the merit of their submissions, unique artistic direction, originality, and brand stories that resonate with the African narrative.

“We were impressed by the breadth of African and diaspora applications and the high levels of creativity. It is truly exhilarating to see the wealth of young talent we have”, said Reni Folawiyo, founder ALÁRA.

The final 6 in alphabetical order are;

Abiola Olusola – Abiola A Olusola, Akudo Iheakanwa – Shekudo, Ekwerike Chukwuma – Wuman, Faith Oluwajimi – Bloke, Kanyinsola Onalaja  – Onalaja, Ladunni Lambo – Ladunni Lambo

All finalists have received a special grant to produce spectacular showpieces for the final stage of the awards.

The finalists will meet with an esteemed panel of judges that includes Bola Adesola- CEO Standard Chartered Bank, Duro Olowu- International Award Winning Designer, Uzoma Dozie- CEO Diamond Bank, Folake Coker – Creative Director, Tiffany Amber, Helen Jennings – Co-founder, Nataal, Ronke Bamisedun- Founder, BWL PR Agency and Reni Folawiyo – Founder, ALÁRA.

One designer will be revealed as the winner of the first Emerge ALÁRA Award for Fashion Design, at the grand finale event on Saturday 27th of October as part of the prestigious Lagos Fashion Week. The showcase of all finalists works will open to the public on Sunday 28th of October.

In recognition of their creative talent, the winner will be offered a grant to create an exclusive collection, mentorship by industry leaders, and an opportunity to retail at ALÁRA.

There were no finalists in the Fashion Media category this year. However, the panel looks forward to discovering young media talent in subsequent years.