The new mega-exhibition on African fashion at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum provides an expansive look at the history and impact of African designers. To help put everything in context, Fast Company focuses on 4 key themes that underpin the story being told. In the book, Checinska wrote that Thomas-Fahm also contributed to “the development of a fashion ecosystem that was directly informed by what she experienced overseas,” setting the stage for the hundreds of designers now emerging throughout the continent. The exhibit pulls out five distinct textiles that have become foundational to contemporary African designers. There are a number of designers using fashion to push back against conservative views on gender and sexuality. Africans have long seen the extent of the world’s fashion waste, and this is informing how a new crop of designers operates.