The face of fashion in Africa

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.