When it comes to discussions about style from an African perspective or even African fashion in general, it’s easy to get lost in trite pieces written by people with limited understanding of our people or our market or our potential buying power. Major almost never discuss trends from our lens, or profits, or exposure our designers may have earned in the previous quarter. The pieces we read about African fashion, are often framed in an exotic, inferior or disparaging context. Africans are almost always described in terms which often focus more on the fact there is widespread poverty or sickness or crime or corruption. But is that all we’re really worth?
It seems not much as changed in contemporary fashion, as fashion week recently concluded in major cities worldwide, style from an African perspective was nonexistent. While sites like Haute Fashion Africa may keep it’s readers informed about the runway shows or even the African designers displaying their latest collection, what’s missing is the thought process, better yet, critical discussions on what designers displayed and why it may or may not impact the lives of Africans. This absence of people who write about style from an African perspective has led many like the people over at Business of Fashion to ask the question, “what will it take for Africa to join the global fashion industry?” Sites like Adiree are paving the way and so is KISUA, but we need more, and not just bloggers (not to diminish their worth as they really matter), but writers, people who think and are willing to write their opinions about style from an African perspective, not in a dismissive tone, but in a manner that will help to elevate and inspire Africa.
Our great continent has been stuck in a wrought and despite the tireless efforts of seasoned and emerging talents, not much has changed in the global fashion industry when it comes to style from an African perspective. If we are ever going to be taken seriously in the modern world, Africa needs writers, more progressive and powerful people who are willing and able to shake things up and propel Africa to it’s future.