top of page

Alára Lagos' Debut at the Brooklyn Museum

A Fusion of African Creativity and Curatorial Vision

Alara Lagos, West Africas first fashion, luxury and lifestyle concept store, makes its debut in the US at the Brooklyn Museum. The pop-up coincides with the opening of Africa Fashion, a landmark exhibition that celebrates the creativity and diversity of African fashions from the 1950s to today. The exhibition, which originated at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, features more than 180 works by over 40 designers and artists from 20 African countries.

Founded by Nigerian lawyer turned fashion, Reni Folawiyo, Alara–which means "the wondrous performer" in Yoruba–is more than just a retail space, rather a cultural destination that aims to elevate and educate people about the richness and diversity of African creativity.

Alára shop at the Brooklyn Museum alongside the "Africa Fashion" Exhibition | Photo Credit: Danny Perez

At the Brooklyn Museum, Alara presents a curated selection of over 100 African and diaspora talents in fashion, furniture, ceramics, conceptual art, and more. The pop-up is designed as a series of vignette installations that invite visitors to discover and interact with the products. This collaboration is an essential part of the Africa Fashion story as it highlights the importance of African creatives taking ownership of how they are represented on a global scale.

"Reni is showcasing the best and brightest in a way that allows them to shine—and the exhibition is doing the same", says Ernestine White-Mifetu, the co-curator of the exhibition and the curator of African art at Sills Foundation. To build on the success of the exhibition in the UK, both White-Mifetu and Annissa Malvoisin, the inaugural postdoctoral fellow in the Arts of Africa at the Bard Graduate Center, have taken the monumental V&A lineup and expanded upon it to highlight the Brooklyn Museum’s Arts of Africa collection and New York’s Africa-driven creative scene.

Alara Lagos in Victoria Island, Nigeria | Courtesy of Alara

The exhibition features several African artists including Ghanaian fashion designer, Kofi Ansah, who blends traditional fabrics and techniques with contemporary silhouettes and details; Thebe Magugu, a young talent who was awarded the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2019 for his topical and experimental designs; Gouled Ahmed, a self-taught designer who draws inspiration from his nomadic roots and the diverse cultures of East Africa; and Adeju Thompson of Lagos Space Programme, the winner of the International Woolmark Prize 2023 with his project, “Cloth as a Queer Archive.

17 views0 comments


Alára Lagos' Debut at the Brooklyn Museum

August 4, 2023

Art Report Africa

2 min read

bottom of page