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ACCRA, GHANA — This October 5 through 7, Vogue Italia is co-sponsoring the first ever Ghana Fashion and Design Week. Timed right after the Paris shows, fashion’s most important season will close in West Africa, daring fashion editors to pack their Prada for the extended month of international fashion show fun. Expected to be a major coup in terms of exposure for Continent-based labels, the Vogue-anointed event will also open the African market to international fashion labels eager to find new takers even as the recession and general saturation of the American and European markets have resulted in eroding bottom lines.

“There are growing numbers of moneyed, stylish, well-travelled consumers living on the Continent,” noted Helen Jennings, editor-in-chief of lush African style glossy Arise Magazine and author of coffee table tome New African Fashion. “Thanks to improved infrastructure and political stability, retail environments are expanding fast with international and African brands alike taking advantage… all fashion eyes are on Africa as the next creative and lucrative frontier.”

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