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The face of fashion in Africa



The face of African fashion


Africa is developing at an almighty pace.  From solar power plants, speaking books, hydrogen cell vehicles and apps helping industries and individuals all over Africa. All such developments are created from need, desire and alternative circumstance and above all, innovation.  It’s no wonder the fashion scene sees so much popularity and curiosity.  The fashion scene, like many innovations on the continent is fresh, innovative and vibrant.  You can’t help but be drawn to it.


It is estimated that in 2016, the African population will reach 1,069 billion people, most under 30.  Africa has the highest rates of urbanisation.  Poor infrastructure has previously hampered growth and development, but not any more.  It’s now a keen catalyst for innovation.

Mobile phones have become a game-changer for the continent. According to Ericsson, the technology company, by 2019 there will be 930 million mobile phones in Africa, almost one for every person on the continent. There is greater mobile penetration than electricity penetration. Now, people are able to connect, get news, share information and stories, trade, gain access to things they never had access to previously, bank and connect with a world they had zero exposure to before.

As Africa continues to rise, we are seeing an enormous appetite for African fashion; A $31 million industry. Emerging creative talent pools are harnessing the continent’s beautiful heritage & culture, fabrics and artistic techniques  These are then being translated and reworked for international audiences. It no wonder that Africa & ‘Made in Africa’ is coined as the next big fashion trend.

Much of Africa is still hidden under a rock and away from western understanding but not from innovation.  It’s a heaving playground of excitement ready to surprise the world with it’s creativity and colour.

As technology leads the way on the continent, we will see this area of growth in fashion as well, along with organic need-stake areas like sustainability and culture, due to intrinsics.


Everyone has a story to share in this world and now Africans are finally able to share theirs. This is a time African fashion will shine with authenticity and grace. Such honest fashion stories from the continent and African inspired clothing are expected to be received with much enthusiasm, love and interest.  Its like magic watching it happen.

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African women are strong, connected and expressive.  We can learn so much from them. Here’s a few tips from the content we should all take on board.


Life is short. Embracing it is half the battle!


1.      Keep looking forward. Wake up every day with hope!

2.      Be present; with yourself, your family and your life to find truth and a pure sense of belonging

3.      Appreciate what you have in your life every day

4.      Respect your elders and your culture to feel connected in this world

5.      Dance with your family with confidence first so you can dance with the world  like no one is watching!

6.      Express yourself often, with new hairstyles, crazy nails and colourful clothes so the world can see you

7.      Know your neighbour so you can learn how to share

8.      Lift your head high and fight for yourself.  Strength is a mindset.

9.      Family and great Friends is the secret to happiness

10.  The secret to self achievement is having a place to really call home

11.  Be proud of who you are, what you look like and what you wear. You only have one you!

12.  Celebrate life everyday. You never know what happens tomorrow.

13.  Be connected to the Earth and everyone in it. We are people of the the earth and all connected.

14.  Be aware that you are here because of who we all are. Ubuntu = human-ness.

15. See the way you are as a strength

16. Be liberated from fear and silence.

17. Accept yourself. Recapture some of the positive aspects of your culture.

18. Keep walking in life, no matter how you journey.

19. You can’t do it alone. Its’ teamwork.

20. There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments


If this doesn’t inspire and make us stronger, more connected and rethink how we live.  I’m not sure what will. This is a celebration from women, often with less who have a tendency to celebrate and challenge so much more.  It’s beautiful, powerful and something we should all celebrate as people of this world, male and female.  

Young and old!!

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Wear in Africa

Wear in Africa



This story is not about a place in time or a title spelt the wrong way. It’s about fashion in Africa.  An unknown idea to many, Africa pumps innovation through her veins and into every probable industry as she grows and harnesses the possibilities of technology and the world around her while leaning on her cultural roots, her stories, her land and her people.


Fashion becomes her freedom and expression.  Many Africans wear their wealth, their story and sense of self. In South Africa,a self-made fashion design collective called the Smarteez are unwilling to be limited by the past apartheid stereotype or community dress expectancies. They use fashion as a tool of expression and a declaration of freedom. It is that consciousness that labels the Smarteez as a movement.

Nelson Mandela, or Madiba as he was affectionately known in South Africa built a fashion flair and legacy that started with his bold and coloured shirt prints. His casual approach to African fashion was a beautiful expression of his love for the country, his human touch to an otherwise heavy political drive and an inspiring view on his push against power dressing. This style enabled Madiba to embrace something unique to him.  A style the world will long respect and remember.


Nigeria’s Nollywood scene is gaining popularity and eyes in the world with improved technology and alongside it, music video’s. Nigerian musician ‘Flavour’ is one example of how African prints are donned as art in his this music video.  Fashion and music go hand in hand, but in Africa, it goes with vibrancy and impact. 

Fresh young African fashion bloggers and designers are interpreting cultural garments in modern ways using the power of social media to spread the word.

The tradition of African prints are getting a facelift too. Expected African colours, designs and prints are being replaced with innovative aesthetics and traditional stories are being told in new ways through fashion, unpacking an exciting time in an all-African way.


So ‘wear in Africa; is she exactly? She is somewhere exciting and her journey is just beginning!

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