Alara Lagos Gives a One-of-a-Kind Retail Experience at the Brooklyn Museum

By Sera | Jul 4, 2023

Reni Folawiyo is the woman of the hour as she takes her luxe boutique, Alara Lagos, global in the ongoing Africa Fashion Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. 

To mark the brands' global debut, Reni is bringing Africa’s unique perspectives on art, fashion, design, and culture to the US and global audience with this stellar curation and a one-of-a-kind retail experience that allows the museum guests and online shoppers to shop, experience and explore over 50 leading-edge brands across Africa.

In an interview with Vogue, Folawiyo makes her intentions known, “We will open people’s eyes to the incredible creative renaissance that is growing in Africa and how seamlessly it functions as a part of the global conversation of style.” she says.

Housed in a three-story concrete and glass cube designed by renowned architect Sir David Adjaye is Reni Folawiyo’s assortment of cutting-edge design, art, fashion, culture, and cuisine concept store, home to a number of high-end luxury brands such as Saint Laurent, Comme des Garcons, Marni, etc filling up the same shelves as some of Africa’s finest brands from across the continent. 

Reni sparked a renaissance with the opening of Alara, Lagos in 2015 and has since evolved and positioned it as a cultural destination in West Africa, hosting projects, industry/community events, and exhibitions.

“Going beyond luxury retail, we’ve become a platform for exchange across all the creative disciplines. Our curation is trusted, and our network authentic,” Reni tells Vogue.

The Africa Fashion exhibition is said tocelebrate the ingenuity and global impact of  African fashion from the 1950s till date.”  

With more than 180 works and over forty designers from twenty countries across the continent, the exhibition will be making its Brooklyn debut in Brooklyn Museum from June 23rd through October  22nd, 2023; a multi-sensory experience that showcases exceptional displays from photographs,  film, textile, jewellery, and apparel, and is curated by Ernestine White-Mifetu and Annisa Malvoisin. 

Folawiyo’s Alara Lagos is not only a part of the exhibition but is attributed as one of the event's major sponsors on the Brooklyn Museum website.

Co-Curator, Ernestine White-Mifetu in an interview with Vogue describes the partnership with Alára as an essential part of the discussion the exhibition is having around the importance of African creatives choosing how they want to be presented, “Reni is showcasing the best and brightest in a way that allows them to shine – and the exhibition is doing the same” he concludes.

Following the media rounds conducted for the exhibition, in various interviews, Reni attributes her gratitude for Alára’s rise to the global stage, to the host of African entrepreneurs and designers whose works and products have curated the distinctive image of Alàra that has now caught the eyes of the international market across the various industries it has catered to over the years. 

The exhibition will display furniture pieces from  Ousmane Mbaye, ceramics from Clementina Van der Walt, conceptual pieces from  Cedric Mizero, just to name a few, on the other hand, products from Ami Doshi Shah, Dye Lab Nigeria, Lagos Space Programme, Lisa Folawiyo, Luar, Turfah, Theophilo, and many others will also be available to shop online and in person at the exhibition. 

Reni Folawiyo is building a sustainable ecosystem of African brands with the potential to make a name for themselves globally, for many of the brands, this exhibition will serve as their debut entry into the US market.

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