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Fashion Competition Glams Up the African World Festival

"America’s Next Top Model" Winner Naima Mora will Judge Designers

The African World Festival® will host the first Detroit Rocks the Runway Fashion Design Competition. Detroit Rocks the Runway is a perfectly balanced, eclectic mix of culture, fashion and music. AWF organizers have searched locally and nationally to secure the best fashion designers to feature their work on the main stage on Saturday, August 20, 2011, at Hart Plaza beginning at 8 p.m.

Fashion designers of color with an edgy, innovative, urban appeal that reflect their culture in ethnic-inspired style will compete in this revolutionary competition themed “Hip Hop Gets Cultured.”

In anticipation of this hot runway show, Detroit Rocks the Runway Fashion Competition designers are pinning and sewing finishing touches on their collection of daywear and evening designs for presentation during the popular festival. A panel of high profile judges that includes Detroit native Naima Mora, “America’s Next Top Model” season four winner, and local fashionistas, will select one of three finalists to be the first Detroit Rocks the Runway Design Competition winner.

A special treat for Detroiters, Mora will lead the “Model Talk with Naima” clinic. On Friday, August 19 at 1 p.m. at Hart Plaza’s Pyramid Stage, she’ll speak to young people interested in working in the fashion industry. She will address topics including self-confidence, building a portfolio, runway techniques and her professional experiences.

The winner will receive a trip to trip to New York, tickets to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s Fall 2011 Collections at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, a feature exhibit of his or her designs at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and a trophy.

Detroit Rocks the Runway promises to be fabulously entertaining. Competing designers are joining forces with a team of top stylists and cutting edge hair and makeup artists lead by show producer LaVonne Trent and director Robere Lett. This electrifying, energetic show will meld hot fashion with live music.

The Detroit Rocks the Runway Fashion Competition runway show begins at 8 p.m. on August 20 and will feature a special tribute in memory of the late designer Sharrone Mitchell. The event is free and open to the public.

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