Africa à la Mode' (Africa on fashion) is the newest intercontinental event in town aimed at providing a platform for designers, both homegrown and from abroad.Held on Thursday, September 21 for the first time in Rwanda and Africa alike, the event was organized in partnership with Africans fashionista to showcase unique creative talents of local designers in Rwanda and other pan Africanists living abroad.The event which, convened designers from Nigeria, South Africa and Haiti, was more than just about fashion; it was about uplifting African fashion and celebrating its rich cultural values as Derrick Mugisha Bush, Karen Uwera, Ido Ayo (Nigeria-American) to mention but a few, displayed their work.Amidst the fashionistas, models made turns in displaying stylish patterns, and fabrics that narrate Africa's diverse stories through clothing. Local artisans and designers proudly shared their artistic style while their international counterparts added a global twist that bridged the continent's values, heritage and cultures.The fashion extravaganza wasn't just about clothing only; it was a celebration of identity, uniqueness, heritage, and the shared vision of a united and fashionable Africa who share aspirations and dreams of a continent ready to make its mark on the global fashion stage.ALSO READ: The highlights of Rwanda’s fashion industry this yearKaren Uwera the founder of KarSSH Collection, who is also among the Founders of Africa a la mode co-founded with Jimmy Moise an international event organizer & Corhinn Brunot the Chief editor & CEO of CREATIV Magazine , believes that the African fashion industry has grown over the years but the industry still lacks sufficient and positive publicity.“There is a misconception that everything made in Africa is substandard and everything made elsewhere outside Africa mostly in renowned fashion countries like Italy and France is not.”“African fashion has been packaged in a very bad way, which makes Africans not trust their own things, especially fashion, which confirms bad publicity everything made in Africa has been given,” she said.Uwera emphasized that the initiative aims to uplift African fashion so that people do not have to question whether Africa has great talent, innovation, nature that inspires us.“People should instead change their mindsets to realise how important it is,” she added.ALSO READ: Rwandan and Ethiopian duo on fusing art with fashionOn the other hand, John Bosco Kalisa, the Chief Executive Officer in East African Business Council (EABC) and facilitator of the event said the council has recently established a creative and arts platform aiming to nurture and grow the creative sector within East Africa.“We have realised that we have enormous potential in terms of talents generated by the youth in various angles; design, craft, graphics and photography. This is the sector that we have not developed yet. It has a lot of potential,” he said.“Our role was to see how we ignite the creation of this platform, bring together the youth from East Africa and the entire Africa to showcase their creativity in different areas mainly in fashion economics as the sector has been identified as the key sector among 10 key value chains under Made in Africa revolution.”However, Kalisa urged local designers to embrace African values in their fashion rather than copy and paste from westerners.He said: “Let us try to preserve our own culture. We should be developing fashion in line with our culture and norms rather than adopting western culture.”Globally, the cultural and creative industries generate USD2.25 trillion of revenue and 29.5 million jobs according to an estimate in 2015. To put these numbers in perspective, this means the sector’s revenue for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales exceed those of telecommunication services, which are USD1.57 trillion.