Skip to content

The Designers Kickstarting Africa’s Style Revolution

It’s a new era in African fashion in which young designers are focused on issues of identity, sustainability and the preservation of artisanal techniques.  Although shackles of colonialism were thrown off years ago, the embrace of ancient traditions has a newfound focus, and an equal emphasis on environmental responsibility and a respect of craft is reinterpreting fashion in exciting new ways. The vanguard of contemporary African designers is moving away from the cliché of African prints to adopting and valorising indigenous textiles. From the late 18th century, an influx of imitation prints arrived from Europe and soon became desirable. But these were in fact not African but from places such as Manchester and the Netherlands. Now, there’s a scepticism about these materials, with designers critical of their origins.