Paris Fashion Week: Presenting “Africa Rising”

Paris Fashion Week: Presenting “Africa Rising”
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You could call Edun a traveling fashion brand. The ethical clothing line, created by U2 frontman Bono and wife Ali Hewson, kicked off the season with a New York runway show in September, picking up again in Paris last night with the unveiling of an art exhibition called “Africa Rising.” The temporary installation, created in partnership with Louis Vuitton as part of the French fashion house’s Core Values campaign, celebrates contemporary African art through an empowering, or as LV puts it, “afroptimistic” lens. The collection displays the work of five artists including photographer Seydou Keta, whose black and white portraits capture Sudanese beauty, and George Lilanga, whose character sculptures highlight the urban culture and struggle of Mozambique. Also on display: an Edun/Louis Vuitton collaboration handbag, a classic LV leather satchel accessorized with a Kenyan charm.

Of course, when you’ve got power names like Bono and Louis Vuitton working together, an opening event is no small affair. Mingling among the artwork and exclusively black-clad crowd (no joke) were Naomi Campbell, Daisy Lowe, Alexa Chung, The Edge, and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, to name a few. Later, singer Angelique Kidjo took to the stage and was joined by Bono for a special appearance. (Who, thankfully, did not sing a cover of Toto’s “Africa.”)

“Africa Rising” will be on display in Paris until October 18th at 1, Rue du Pont Neuf in the 1st arrondissement. Find out more about the Louis Vuitton Core Values campaign at louisvuittonjourneys.com.

Leonora Epstein is a freelance writer living in Paris. Find out more about her on her leonoraepstein.com and blog.

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Alexandra Richards served as DJ.

Photographer Angèle Essamba's work on display at the "Africa Rising" exhibition.

African singer Angelique Kidjo and Bono take to the stage for a special performance.

The Louis Vuitton/Edun collaboration handbag.

Caroline Sieber and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, both wearing Louis Vuitton.

Pretty ladies Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung. Who may have been the only people at the Edun event not dressed head-to-toe in black.

On the second floor of the installation, pieces from Edun's Spring/Summer 2011 collection were on display, along with a Louis Vuitton collaboration bag, proceeds from which will benefit African organizations.

George Lilanga's colorful sculptures on display at the event.

Naomi Campbell, Bono, and Ali Hewson.

"Africa Rising" features some of the mesmerizing works of photographer Seydou Keïta.

Ladies in black: Tatiana Santo Domingo and Margherita Missoni.

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