The Man behind VOGUE Africa in Pittsburgh

Ten years ago, two Pittsburgh friends asked a simple question about the fashion industry that began to change the world:

What would it take to broaden the standard of beauty throughout the fashion industry to better represent the African Disapora and all that its contributes — artistically and otherwise — to human kind?

What began as a Pittsburgh street party and fashion display has grown into FashionAFRICANA — one of the world’s most anticipated and celebrated productions of African-inspired art, design, music and dance.

On December 8th at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, FashionAFRICANA marks its 11th year by presenting GLAMAZONIA, a photography exhibition by Cameron-born and Paris-based Mario Epanya, one of the world’s most outspoken fashion photographers. Epanya stirred an ongoing global dialogue in 2010 when he proposed the launch of Vogue Africa.

Together, Boccella and Epanya are raising global awareness about the power of the fashion industry to shape how all people of color, and especially young women, perceive their self image and place in the world. GLAMAZONIA will also feature fashion presentations from French designer Eva Sabarra and Pittsburgh based designer, Kiya Tomlin.

“While we all know that beauty is more than skin deep,” says Boccella, “we also know the power of fashion to influence behavior.”

GLAMAZONIA debuts on Saturday, December 8th at 6:30pm with a VIP Cocktail Reception and GLAMAZONIA Exhibit Tour by Mario Epanya, followed by a FashionAFRICANA show and Special Musical Performance at 8:00pm. The event erupts  with a Dance Party at 9pm.

Tickets are available online at or by calling 1-888-71-TICKETS. The cost of admission is $75 for the VIP Reception and $35 for the FashionAFRICANA Show.

On Sunday, December 9th, there will be an Artist Talk with Emerging Artist of the Year: Vanessa German, Mario Epanya, and Kiya Tomlin at the August Wilson Center.

For media and all other inquiries, please call 412-208-0249.

By: Wadria Taylor

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