Published June 2, 2023 at 6:53 PM MDT
Koya Nyangi considers herself a proud child of her native Kenya in East Africa where she hasbeen studying fashion since she was a teenager.
When she moved to the Centennial State six years ago, Nyangi said she made it a mission to share her knowledge of African fashion with the Rocky Mountain region.
“When you think of Denver, you don’t necessarily think of it as a fashion place,” said Nyangi. “When I came here, I started going to different boutiques around the city looking to get more information about the fashion landscape.”
Nyangi, a Broomfield resident who works as a style curator and international sales representative for African fashion brands and designers, will get that opportunity to showcase her work this Saturday.
The “Let Me Show You Different – African Designers Runway Show” will take place at Reelworks in Denver. The event will feature five designers — Mafi Mafi from Ethiopia, Laani Raani from South Africa, Kiko Romeo from Kenya, Lafalaise Dion from Cote D’Ivoire and Adele Dejak from Kenya —showcasing a diverse collection of African fashion designs and collections.
The show is part of a weekend full of African-themed events in the Mile High City. The Denver Art Museum has been holding weekly tours of its Arts of Africa collection which showcase over 1,000 objects from the country during the 19th and 20th century.
“I think Denver is sort of this place where there’s a hunger for culture,” said Nyangi. “But there’s also an openness to experience culture.”
Nyangi said there’s an understanding and craving amongst the Denver metropolitan community to learn more about African fashion andculture.
“You have people from Ghana having different kinds of textiles,” said Nyangi. “Sometimes you come across them but you may not know the meaning of its significance. So, what these designers get to do is show us and and help us understand that meaning.”
Nyangi added that the event is the first of its kind in Denver and there’s a chance that it could make a comeback to the Mile High City in the near future.
“It would be very sad if we didn’t,” said Nyangi. “We’ve never had designers who have showcased in an international sphere fly all the way from Africa to Denver to put on a show. So that in itself is such a big leap.”
The African Designers show will also feature a trunk show for attendees to purchase fashion pieces and accessories from African designers. It will be held at the Clayton Hotel on Sunday, June 4th.
Tickets can be purchased here.