After moving to Calgary, Elizabeth Aberefa encountered hurdles upon her relocation to Calgary, as she endeavored to showcase her craft as an African fashion designer. Sensing a void, Aberefa discerned the pressing necessity for a platform where African creatives and fashion designers could flourish. Fuelled by her vision, she took the momentous step of establishing African Fashion Week (AFW), a groundbreaking initiative that not only empowers African designers to unveil their masterpieces but also fosters the integration of diverse African artists within Canada’s vibrant creative landscape on an annual basis.

“Hence why when you come to the AFW show, there is a performance or there’s a dance or there’s food,” said Aberetha. 

When Aberefa moved to Canada in 2013, she learned sewing at her university. This skill, combined with her previous experiences of running businesses in Nigeria allowed her to start her own clothing brand.

Aberefa doubles as a fashion entrepreneur and blogger. Besides being the founder of AFW, she is also the founder of two businesses, her ready-to-wear African clothing brand, Designs by Arrow, and I Love Me Beauty, an eCommerce beauty store. 

“We can always find a way to work together …” said Aberefa. Collaboration is the most important thing.

AFW Magazine was launched on Sep. 3, 2022. AFW describes itself as a “magazine that is designed to highlight and showcase Africans living and thriving in the diaspora, people who are blazing the trail and making an impact!”

The magazine is about culture, fashion, food, careers, businesses, and lifestyle while sharing, celebrating, and supporting the most innovative and enterprising brands/companies. 

Aberefa says she is always looking forward to working with new talents that need a platform to promote their work. She believes the most significant thing for any business owner to have is publicity. 

“I would say that we are here to celebrate what we stand for, celebrate our culture, to celebrate the things that we hold dear to heart.”

The third AFW will be held in Calgary on Aug. 12. The Astoria Banquet Hall, from 3 PM to 10 PM.
For more information about the 3rd Annual African Fashion Week, please visit the AFW website. If you’re an African fashion designer who would like to showcase your work at this event visit

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