Africa’s Leading Luxury Concept Store Is Coming to the Brooklyn Museum

One of Africa’s famous shopping destinations is headed for the Big Apple.

From June 23 through October 22, Lagos-based concept store Alára will open up shop at the Brooklyn Museum with products from over 100 brands. The luxe boutique will make its debut as part of the Africa Fashion at the Museum exhibition, in partnership with the institution, as a way to bring style perspectives from Africa and the diaspora to New York. Some of the brands from Alára will be also featured in the exhibit, which originally opened to the public at the Victoria & Albert Museum in England as the largest exhibit of fashion and style from the continent.

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Alára was founded in 2015 by Reni Folawiyo, an entrepreneur and tastemaker. In Folawiyo’s native Yoruba language, the word “alára” means “wondrous performer, one who thrills endlessly.” Since its inception, the store has offered a vast assortment of projects, products, and events to the community and is seen today as a cornerstone of Lagos’s buzzy cultural scene—comparable to Paris’s Colette.

Alára founder Reni Folawiayo (left) and the Lagos-based concept store (right)
From left: Alára founder Reni Folawiyo; the Lagos-based concept store.

Ghanaian British architect David Adjaye designed the shop’s Earthy Nigerian headquarters, which houses a number of high-end luxury brands such as Marni, Saint Laurent, Linda Farrow, and Comme des Garcons. The store also features a host of stylish offerings from companies that are highly influenced by the African diaspora, including Kenneth Ize, Post Imperial, and Thebe Magugu. Alára often hosts exhibitions of works by artists such as Hassan Hajjaj and Peju Layiwola, as well as performances by Falana and Asa. It even hosted legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell for The Art of Beauty book signing in 2018.

Neither the Brooklyn Museum or Alára have shared which forms of art, fashion, music, and design will be featured at the luxury retailer’s N.Y.C. exhibition shop. But with such an illustrious backstory and uniquely imagined shop floor in Lagos, it may exceed your expectations.

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