African fabrics and African fashion
Talking about African fashion makes you smile more than one. However, for several years, African fashion has been here, present. Not only is numerous weeks of fashion competitions called “fashion weeks” organized on the African continent, but great Western designers try to capture the images of these weeks with the intention of integrating them into their collections. African fabrics are in the spotlight when it comes to African fashion. In recent years, references to Africa have appeared in haute couture collections in the most prestigious countries of Europe and North America.
However, this notion is subject to challenges. “Why use the term ‘African fashion’ when you never talk about ‘European fashion’,” says fashion designer Tina Lobondi?
As early as the 1950s, some creators refer to Africa and use African fabrics. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that journalists opened the way to black creativity. In 1998, in the Tiguidit Desert in Niger, the first International African Fashion Festival (FIMA) took place. It is the work of Nigerian fashion designer Alphadi. The festival is a cultural and economic event of international importance focused on African fashion in relation to Western fashion. However, African fashion is often still unknown. Africans themselves do not buy African products. Those in the diaspora refuse to use the works of creators who say they are unknown.
A changing fashion
The world has changed, trends have changed! The ready-to-wear collection offers simple cuts, from the miniskirt to the very long dress, without the traditional patterns. It’s about having decidedly modern cuts to meet the needs of the clientele.
Today, the collections of the next generation of African designers are everywhere: on the street, in shops, in fashion shows, on the continent and in the rest of the world. But if he wants to conquer the planet, African fashion still has to operate another mutation. Those who say African fashion, say summer fashion, because it goes back to the climate of Africa. You still have to consider the northern seasons to find new buyers.