Our African fashion have never really gotten a stamp of approval from the global fashion industry. Fine! Lagos held a huge fashion show in October that really didn’t get the major press time it deserves. Fine! This is with the exception of the Lagos’s men’s street style (see here) or interview with Ms Peterside on Vogue.com (see here) and I will even add the 6 standout picks from the Lagos show by a non-Nigerian on Vogue (see here) which by the way is an insult to all the Nigerians who attended the show. Does it mean, Nigerians do not have any say in discussing what should stand out in a fashion show, the way Parisians do or even those fashion critics in New York do? Na wa for Vogue. If this isn’t fashion discrimination, Vogue, then I am not sure what is. To have a Ukaranian, pick our designs for us, has to be the highest low. What does she know and see the ugly things she picked from those who presented. With the exception of Maki Oh and Meena, they are Ugly and will never be worn by Nigerians and I said so!
But before I raise my blood pressure today, really, the word of advice for today is key. With African Fashion, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Often we allow ourselves to get worked up about things that, upon closer examination, aren’t really that big a deal. So Vogue did not feature a Nigerian picking out her favorite standouts from Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Fine! If we focus on this as a problem, we will only blow it out of proportion forgetting that what really matters is that Lagos had a Fashion Week that was Beautifully Executed Like Fashion Weeks in New York or Paris. Thinking about the positive or not focusing on how they portray us is how we begin to maintain our rightful place in the global fashion industry. For far to long, we have spent so much time sweating the small stuff with fashion and style from our African perspective. We are over 1 billion people strong and we do not need to the West to tell us what we should do or how we should do fashion. We have been doing fashion and we will continue to do fashion our way and in our own style, never mind what the powers that be in the global fashion industry decides. I say to them who really cares about your opinion when there is instagram and facebook to generate support in the way they would dream off. We may not have the glossy publications, but we matter and if Lagos Fashion and Design Week is any indication, we are here to stay, come rain or shine. So yes, don’t sweat the small stuff with African Fashion. Instead, focus on the magic and beauty of that which is ours and see us soars to new heights. #dropmymic, have a great day.
Image credit: Kola Oshalusi for Lagos Fashion and Design Week.