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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

REVIEW: Arise Magazine

I was in Barnes & Noble to get my usual fare of British and French fashion magazines and I discovered Arise magazine. Arise is Africa's style and culture magazine published in the UK and edited by Helen Jennings. Jennings is a London-based journalist, editor and stylist with broad experience and contacts in the fields of fashion, music, entertainment and the arts.

As I browsed through the magazine, I was overcome with glee. As a woman of African descent, I was proud to see that African fashion is booming. There are designers all over the Continent that are creating fabulous fashion on their own terms. Arise also contains articles on music, culture, and politics. The magazine also covers news in the US and the UK, in addition to African news. In addition to the prominent stars in Africa, the Arise team has also interviewed the likes of Spike Lee, Grace Jones, VV Brown, and models such as Liya Kebede, Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell. I am very impressed.

The magazine's fashion spreads are full of amazingly beautiful photography.

There was an issue dedicated to President Obama's inauguration and the impact that his election had on the U.S. and its impact in Africa.

There was an amazing article with agent pioneer, Bethann Hardison of Bethann Management. Hardison is credited with fighting to increase the number of models of color on the runways and in the fashion magazines. She represented some of the top African-American models such as Naomi Campbell, Veronica Webb and Tyson Beckford.

I learned about the Genge music movement in Kenya. The rhythm and beats of Genge has been the soundrack of Kenyan culture for over nine years.

My favorite and most inspirational article was the coverage of the Arise Magazine event that showcased African Fashion Collective at New York Fashion Week in February 2009. It was the group's fashion debut at the prestigious fashion extravaganza. Xuly Bet, Tiffany Amber, Stoned Cherrie, and Momo presented their Fall 2009 collections to the fashion elite.

The collections were well received. Fern Mallis, President of IMG and creator of Fashion Weeks said “We are very proud and supportive of all the designers who continue to understand the power of the runway, the effectiveness of producing a first-class, top notch show is the best marketing tool a designer has in this climate, and we look forward to working closely with each designer to maximize this opportunity."

So the next time you are trolling the bookstore for your favorite fashion magazines, make sure to add Arise magazine to your pile. It is a must read, especially if you want to know what's hot in Africa.


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