African Fashion Summit, one of Houston Fashion Week's newest additions, kicked off with a midday show Thursday at Belvedere. The day-long extravaganza showcased Houston designers, models, hairstylists, and makeup artists.
“When we made the casting calls, there was a tremendous amount of beauty and talent in the African-American community,” said Victor Quinteros Marquina, founder of Houston Fashion Week. “I realized it was proper to create an event inside fashion week that was supporting all these girls and basically putting all this energy together in a special event."
Among the designers was Andrew Drayton of Lord Andrew and Kimma Wreh from Tekay Designs. Drayton’s collection, a glamorous take on the contemporary African-American fashion scene, featured an array of warm pastels, reds, creams and chocolates. The designer said he set out to create timeless classics inspired by Carolina Herra and Oscar de la Renta.
“The collection is inspired by the four women in my life who are supportive and influential,” said Drayton. “Little girls have Barbie dolls, but I have these four women who are my living Barbie dolls.”
Wreh’s collection transformed classic African fashion into contemporary pieces. Gowns varied in color, fit, length and style, with each one designed for different occasions.
“The inspiration comes from various countries around the world with emphasis on west Africa,” Wreh said. “My inspiration is the sun and the earth.” Models were decked in African Ankara fabrics with brightly-colored hues. They wore wigs from Obsidian, a local hair supplier and sponsor of the show. Other sponsors like Beauty Under One Roof and Raimon Salon provided gift bags.