The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub to Showcase Local Independent Fashion Designers during the Nolcha Shows Media Lounge

August 10, 2016

EATIH Press Release

The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub has partnered with the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge to showcase local accessory designers APRELLEDUANY, I AM I, Mafi and Sammy Handmade on September 14th 2016 at the Bryant Park Hotel.


The Nolcha Shows, held during New York Fashion Week and now its in eighth year, is one of the city’s leading platforms for global independent fashion designers and welcomes returning sponsors NeoGrid for Fashion, Citibank and JR Ewing Bourbon.


The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is the U.S. Government’s flagship project under the presidential Trade Africa initiative, launched in 2013 to boost trade and investment with and within Africa.


Finn Holm-Olsen, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub Director Trade Promotion and AGOA comments; “The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is pleased to participate for the very first time in the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge.  We view this event as an excellent opportunity and unique platform to showcase the capabilities of East African firms in the design and accessories space.”


Launched in 2014, APRELLEDUANY aim is to expand diversity in the luxury industry while elevating the images of Africa. The brand creates classic investment pieces with iconic silhouettes enhanced with pops of inspiring color and innovative features.


I AM I create minimal, geometrical forms contrasted with texture, color and unexpected detailing.  The labels vision is to create sculptural adornment that blurs the lines between art and jewelry.  The labels aesthetic is strongly influenced by design icons and artists from Walter Gropius and Arne Jacobsen to Wangechi Mutu and El Anatsui.


Mafi’s vision is to create contemporary high fashion clothing and accessories.  Mafi is an African brand for global women that has an ethical soul and provides sustainable solutions for local artisans.  The brands signature style is handmade, cotton, geometric patterns, strip, comfort, chic, that combines both exotic and sporty style.


Sammy Handmade is a brand that was started from a very humble beginning to promote products with traditional techniques but contemporary concept.  The hand woven feather weight scarves, tunics and hand tie-dyed Ethiopian highland sheep nappa leather accessories are influenced by culture, traditions and craft techniques from various Ethiopian regions.


Llenay Ferretti, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub Senior Advisor, Fashion and Accessories shares; “The young, creative design talent in East Africa is inspiring. I am excited to help the entrepreneurs participating in the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge meet with the fashion community in New York. They have so much to offer!”


Other designers presenting their Spring/Summer 2017 collections at the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media include returning brands EL VOYAGE, Michelle Pajak Reynolds and Taylord Blu and debuting brands DELA EVA, Riley Versa, James Carleton, OYSBY and Marshelly’s Jewelry.


Kerry Bannigan, Co-Founder Nolcha Shows shares; “We are very proud to partner with the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and to support the entrepreneurial fashion talent within their communities. Our attendees are always keen to discover new international designers and what global talent has to offer; this curation showcase is no different and there is a lot of excitement surrounding this.”


For more information about the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub please go to:


For more information on the East African designers showcasing at Nolcha Lounge please visit;



The Nolcha Shows, co-founded by Kerry Bannigan and Arthur Mandel, are a leading award-winning event held during New York Fashion Week. Over the past eight years the Nolcha Shows have become established as a platform for discovery; promoting cutting edge innovative fashion designers. The Nolcha Shows have built an acclaimed reputation as a hot incubator of fashion design talent and are officially listed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation; offering a range of cost effective options to increase designers recognition and develop their businesses. The successful showcase consistently receives positive media coverage including features in ADWEEK, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, INC, US WEEKLY, Lucky, NBC, MTV and Forbes; and has been supported by brands including Citibank, Coca-Cola, Rusk, Otterbox, Vitamin Water, American Airlines, Don Q Rums and Landrover. | | @nolchashows #nolcha #nolchashows