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Lulu Mutuli and Azra Walji have reason to smile as they emerged tops at the maiden Heineken® Africa Inspired Fashion Challenge, a three day event built around creativity and innovation of East Africa’s finest fashion design talents.

An elated Lulu Mutuli thanked the challenge organizers for the platform to learn and share their creativity and talent terming it as an amazing and priceless opportunity. “For us that speak through our creativity, being able to represent Africa’s voice for a global brand is a great honor in what we the participants hope will be the first of many honors and accolades that will emerge from this challenge.”

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Speaking as he announced the winners, HEINEKEN East Africa General Manager Uche UNIGWE termed the three day design challenge as an amazing experience for the brand, designers and the regional fashion industry at large.

Identifying and empowering talents remains a critical part of our global agenda and it is our hope that this exercise will help in developing and building capacity in the regional fashion and design space as we seek to create an African capsule collection to be incorporated into the global Heineken® apparel line” said Uche.

Diana Opoti, key fashion influencer, which has been instrumental in gathering the fashion community around this challenge, confirmed ‘’it’s vital that where we can we create an environment to identify and nurture young creative talent. This project is especially important in the way it’s been designed; for connecting designers to real work experience with the link to the Heineken® design team as well opening them up to the opportunity to showcase in the career defining, Lagos Fashion and Design Week in Nigeria.’’


Lagos Fashion and Design Week founder and judge at the event Omoyemi Akerele, lauded the raw talent and creativity. “Indeed my expectations were exceeded especially given the young age of the designers that not only showed creativity and interest in learning but also possessed amazing business acumen that is needed to jumpstart the East African fashion scene.”

The judging and organizing panel constituted influential fashion industry players names; Omoyemi Akerele, founder of Lagos Fashion and Design Week, International model Ajuma Nasenyana, Stylist and key fashion player Rio Paul, Award winning designer and founder of Kampala Fashion Week, Gloria Wavamunno, International model Tarmar Wobotu and Model and stylist Ochechi Adah.

The winners will depart in two weeks for Amsterdam to actualize their patterns and line with Heineken® design team and Amsterdam based design house LEW.

The journey will culminate with a chance to showcase their collection at Africa’s largest fashion event- the Lagos Fashion and Design Week in end of October where their unique creation will be revealed and show-cased.

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I am a journalist, fashion show choreographer, a backstage manager, an actress and the owner of As a journalist, I specifically focus on entertainment and feature writing.

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