Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Anambra Fashion Expo 2022 will celebrate the resilience of the Akwete women who have over the years ensured that the Akwete fabric found a space on the country’s fashion map.
The Akwete fabric is a unique hand-woven textile produced in Akwete town in Abia State, which is usually done by the Akwete women.
The cloth is made of cotton thread, while the decorative patterns and effects are added with a thread of heavier texture or contrasting colors.
Recall that the governor of Anambra State, Governor Charles Soludo during his election campaigns, disclosed his intention to promote locally-made products in Nigeria one of which is the Akwete fabric.
The governor did not mince words with regards to the Akwete fabric. Asides from his swearing-in ceremony where he wore the beautifully made fabric, he has also been seen on countless occasions wearing the fabric.
Addressing newsmen in Awka, Friday, Adaora Soludo, the daughter of the state governor and convener of the maiden Anambra Fashion Expo, described fashion as mankind’s modes of expression from immemorial.
Fashion is not just a basic need for humans, it is also a means of subsistence for many.”
According to her, “The Akwete fabric is the only surviving piece of indigenous textile cultivated, woven, sewn and worn by Ndi-Igbo of South-East, Nigeria.
“This resilient piece of colourful clothing faces the threat of extinction by a number of social and economic factors.
She said Aorah which is her business name, over the years, sort to provide cultural contexts to fashion whether they are Western, African, Nigerian or Igbo, noting that the craft of fashion can be best appreciated from autochthonous perspective.
“Creating an ecosystem where indigenous fashion can thrive and made available for export is not only fantastic economics but also a major strategy for bridging the widening unemployment gap of the country.
“Akwete, like every other fabric, is colourful and confers a unique feeling of royalty on its wearers. It can be dimensioned in line with the designer’s choice, fit for quick urban wears, and for all classes of social events.”
Meanwhile, Mazi Ejimofor Opara, the Head of Operations and Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on New Media said the Fashion Expo will be a one day event, divided into three segments.
“The first is the exhibition which would be like a trade fare for everything fashion, and it would run from 8am to 6pm.
“The next is the Masterclass. It would commence at exactly 9am to 12pm.
“The final segment would be the fashion runway show, which would commence at exactly 3pm to 6pm,” Opara stated.