I came across a post yesterday on racked.com on luxury fashion bubble. In the post, one youtube blogger bragged about the seven Fendi bags in her possession all totaling $5,000. To the blogger, each bag has it’s own personality and in her words “depending on how she feels, she usually gravitates to a certain one.” Now some may question if she is sane, given her description of handbags with personalities. Some may say, it’s all vanity, a waste of money that she should have spent on something meaningful, like an education or something of that nature. Some may even say if it makes her happy, what the heck, after all to each his own. Honestly, I don’t care if she spends $5,000 or $500,000 on a bag. What I am tapping into, at least for this post, is a world where people like this youtuber blogger can spend $5,000 on seven African Fashion items, a world where African Fashion, Luxury and Bubble are used all in one sentence.
So indulge with me for a moment and imagine an African Fashion Luxury Bubble? What will people interested in our luxury items obsesses over? Bloomingdales Fashion Director Erica Russo noted in that piece that their “customer loves the fun, high-fashion component of the pieces.”What if I may ask, are the fun, high-fashion component pieces that personify our African sense of style? Is there any perfect African pieces that can serve as an instant update to any woman’s accessory wardrobe without breaking the bank? Ankara materials in the form of skirts and shorts and dresses are all over Instagram with lots of pictures from Beyonce and other fashionistas online, so they easily come to mind, but will that do? Personally, this one is so, so. How can we help retailers stock and continue to restock any African Fashion item to meet growing demand? In fact what would that item be? I know I keep asking questions, it’s because I NEED answers. We are in 2015, so if not now for African Fashion, then when? When are we going to have items, with high price tag, that people will associate as the ultimate luxury in African Fashion? What will it take for people to know for instance, that the limited African print tulip coat for example, over at KISUA (see here) is worth is 313 euros and then some, if not for anything, but because it will surely be a conversational piece. Then there is the wearable sculpture that personifies the work of South African designer Suzaan Heyns (cover image and see below), which is honestly the type of items that just may do at least for some people.
The African Fashion customer deserves things with more personality, pieces that will make an elegant statement, while making her shop and shop, like the you tube blogger with her Fendi bags. I honestly don’t know what it will take, but once she sees it, I know for a fact that she will pay more because she knows that the item is worth the price. To African Fashion designers, there is a lot at stake for the future of African Fashion. Your brand is certainly something that a lot of women like myself want to feel connected to because of what you represent, because of how your brand makes us feel like African women. Of course we want pieces with personality, but most important, do make things that will ensure that it grabs us aesthetically, pieces that make us feel special, so that we can live in a world where African Fashion is a luxury bubble unto itself.