On the heals of her New York Fashion Week debut, this past weekend fashion designer and Kania Couture founder, Stacey Bafi-Yeboa, held an encore of her NYFW show at Mark Motors’ Audi Ottawa in front of a hometown crowd. The who’s who of Ottawa fashion and fashion lovers alike waited patiently outside Audi Ottawa to witness the city’s biggest fashion success story since Herieth Paul started gracing runways and magazine covers all over the world.
As the garage door opened, the crowd was ushered onto the Audi Ottawa showroom floor to take their seats. Everything about the night said “luxury”, from the cars to the drinks to the main event, Kania’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection.
The night wasn’t only a celebration of Stacey Bafi-Yeboa and technical designer Arfie Lalani’s latest creations. It was also a night to celebrate the fact that a designer from Ottawa, more political capital than fashion capital, made it onto fashion’s biggest stage.
Fellow local designers were in attendance both to celebrate Kania’s success and to be inspired.
“She’s the first to do it. We’re following the blueprint”, noted fellow local designer and We Are Kings founder, King Hector Jr.
He also noted how hard it is to be a fashion designer in a market like Ottawa, but that it’s slowly improving.
Bafi-Yeboa’s vision for her New York Fashion Week show was “Broadway down the runway” and she delivered. True to her former career as a Broadway dancer, the show opened with a dance troupe that would make appearances throughout the night. Then the models, provided by Ottawa modelling agency AMTI, entered wearing tall, feathered head pieces seemingly inspired by the Rockettes.
The collection features wrap dresses, capes and some dramatic necklines that blend style and comfort. There was even something for the men as this collection marks Kania’s long awaited foray into menswear, including a structured blazer and a signature stylish yet comfortable hoodie.
Not to be forgotten are the cars which were the supporting cast of the show. Every so often an Audi luxury car would drive down the runway carrying models and dancers. The cars fit seamlessly into the show and enhanced the visual experience. Just when the show got into a rhythm someone would get out of a car to keep you on your toes.
Despite this success and what it means for both Kania and Ottawa fashion, this is just the beginning. Kania was invited to return to New York Fashion Week in 2018.
Stacey Bafi-Yeboa says of her upcoming return to New York, “I’m super excited about returning to NYFW in 2018. New York has completely elevated my game and set a new standard.”
And in turn Stacey and Kania have elevated the game and set a new standard for fashion in the capital.