African fashion has been steadily making its mark on the international stage and is showing no sign of slowing down. The age of pastiching the Western Fashion industry is finally ending! Our voices are becoming more and more clear as designers move away from the Ankara overkill deemed as “Afro inspired” while creating pieces that still speak to African stylistic sensibilities.
We have certain areas on the continent (notably southern africa) where the manufacturing sector is more developed but though often challenging due to wanting logistics infrastructure, many designers are making a statement sourcing local materials and/or basing some if not all of their production on home soil, creating jobs and sustaining indigenous textile industries and craftsmanship. We will never achieve economic sovereignty if we keep expecting foreign nations to feed, clothe and supply us with basic consumer goods.
The following african designers are among a growing number challenging the perception that good quality products cannot come from our continent, producing clothes and accessories fit for any “sapeur”:
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