#EpicFail? Arise Fashion Week, Lagos (Day 2) fails to rise to the occasion

by Hauwa Gambo

Arise Magazine Fashion Week (AMFW) delivered three successful fashion shows of reputable proportions in the past, so one would expect an even better outing this year as opposed to the kind of hot mess the first two days have been so far.

Only a few days ago, designer, Emmy Collins took to twitter to air his views as regards Arise. From his tweets, he insinuated that Arise and the organising team were disorganised. In short, he did not mince words when he said the show was going to flop. Perhaps, he was correct.

Arise, 2012 has so far taken a rather strange and tremendously chaotic turn. The first day did not go as planned but that was to be expected, after all, everyone was just settling in and things were about to take off.

It only became disturbing when after 36 hours things were still “taking off”. Designers scheduled to show on the first day were re-scheduled for today. There was no seminar held or musical act in sight. Contrary to a supposedly planned schedule of rich fashion activities, the day was instead turned into a catch-up/networking/cock-tails-for-all (perhaps compensatory) day.

Everyone returned for a refreshing day 2 packed with several fashion greats but alas, they were disappointed. What the failure of day 2 did was magnify, the level of disarray that occurred at Day 1 of Arise.

At 4pm when the show was scheduled to start, structures were still being erected. The red carpet (entrance into the tent) was far from completion. Models were gallivanting and so were the rest of us. Well, we were gallivanting for another 2 hours after news got around that the show had been shifted to 6pm.

At 6pm, there was no sign that the show was going to kick-start. Restlessness spread round the venue like a plague, yet people waited to enjoy a blissful night of fashion. After another 4 hours of restrained impatient waiting, tension started to mount and people began to talk. The dilemma was this, Federal Palace Hotel was probably going to shut down the venue at 12 midnight so even if the show was to go on, for how many hours? Also, people had become fatigued and disinterested from waiting; did they still want to see a show?

Even more pitiful were the models that had been dolled up for hours, waiting aimlessly to rip the runway only to have their fate contemplated last night. After migrating from the hotel lobby where almost everyone converged to the tent and back again several times, people eventually lost faith, and began to leave.

You’d think that this was the highlight of an unfortunately ruined day, you’d be wrong. At past ten, the consensus was that the show had been cancelled for the day, whether this was announced or not.

However, when one of the international models allegedly spilled figures of her daily salary to a crowd of upset to angry models, hell broke loose. The local models immediately rallied up in protest to the president, Thisday, Prince Nduka to express their hurt. The argument was, why are the international models earning $ 5000 (N 750 000) per day while the locals earn $ 200 (N 30 000). His alleged response was ‘As aspiring, unprofessional models, the pay is quite considerable, considering the fact that Arise is putting you on the map’. Beth/Elite CEO, Elohor seconded the notion. While, a few fashion heads think they have acted unprofessional, citing that they entered into a binding contract and should not create a frenzy because some models earn more, instead if they are unhappy with the pay, they should not take the job regardless of what the next girl earns. In the end, there was no real resolution other than some models will show up to continue in their duties while some have angrily opted out.

Following the series of unfortunate events, tongues have been wagging and the social media platforms are on fire. For the most part, people have many things to say about Arise and its supposed inadequacies, others are protesting on behalf of the local models and others like Emmy Collins are saying, ‘I told you so’. However, reports have reached us that the organising team is not entirely to blame for yesterday’s mishap. Apparently, the hotel generator that was supposed to power the tent developed problems in the morning and since then, the organisers ran helter-skelter in search of an alternative but to no avail. Although, many are of the opinion that Arise should have been prepared for any and every occurrence.

Hopefully, the show will go on as planned hence forth and maybe Arise 2012 can save its face and prove skeptics wrong.

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Comments (5)

  1. Serves the foolish models right! Thunder seals Nduka’s mouth! What foolish world map has he put the models on? What jobs have dey gotten through their work with arise?! He calls them aspiring models??? Half of them are as professional as his so-called int models. Just cos dey remain in nigeria that he thinks he can insult them. Anyway its all their business if d ‘local’ models really want any change dey wud have backed out n leave d runway for nduka’s so called int models. As far as d foolish nigerian models won’t stand together and let d 600 dollars for 3 days or 4 days show be damned! They wiLl continue to be treated as trash! Look at d gap btw d both payment?! 5k to 200 dollars smh for nigerian models how cheap! Is it worth all the time wasted? Pity!

  2. Arise is doing amazing things for African Fashion and I'm always rooting for them – so is everyone else in fact. Why else would people wait till 9pm with the hope of any show. Still the models were brave to stand up and say something. Thats how industries change around the world. What ever Arise thinks of how professional the girls are, its a JOB and not a favour. They live and transport themselves on this. The treatment of models is unfair. Dont get me wrong, I love Arise and I feel bad for them cus they dont deserve to have all the bad press after spending so much; but neither do our local models. They did what might just be a beginning for proper treatment, structure and mutual respect in the Nigerian fashion industry. Yes models get treated like crap all over the world but at least the moneys worth it!

  3. Arise is doing amazing things for African Fashion and Im always rooting for them – so is everyone else in fact. Why else would people wait till 9pm with the hope of any show. Still the models were brave to stand up and say something. Thats how industries change around the world. What ever Arise thinks of how professional the girls are, its a JOB and not a favour. They live and transport themselves on this. The treatment of models is unfair. Dont get me wrong, I feel for Arise cus they dont deserve to have all the bad press after spending so much; but neither do our local models. They did what might just be a beginning for proper treatment, structure and mutual respect in the Nigerian fashion industry. Yes models get treated like crap all over the world but at least the moneys worth it!

  4. This reminds me of waiting for local airplanes in Nigerian airports…

    Wish we would get more efficient and effective as a people… it goes back to our values and priorities

  5. Sad sad sad . I would hate for Emmy Collins to have the last laugh o.

    Those models should better stay put. If they signed a contract, then that's too bad, maybe next time they'd research more.

    Let's keep watching…

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail