African fashion consists of vibrant colours prominent at times and dazzling prints with tribal-like patterns. One of the most predominant fabrics in Africa used to create traditional printed clothing is Ankara. Ankara is 100% cotton, painted fabric used for many clothing items such as dresses, headscarves, jackets, among others. Fabric production and weaving is an important occupation in Africa, creating employment and consumerism; one of the things that make fashion in Africa so important.
The evolution of African clothing has been one of the most wide spread across the globe, It’s no secret that western fashion often borrows very heavily from African culture in the ongoing quest to spot the latest fashionable trend. This influence is mostly harmless and can be amusing for many of us until fashion houses and retailers fail to acknowledge where inspiration was drawn. It’s provoking when the items are sold for extortionate prices, with no benefit to African communities
This year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Shanghai, referenced very heavily to African culture as an ongoing source of inspiration for high fashion. The Motherland has long been a hub of influence for fashionable trends in the Western world, from the ear-stretching fad which was adopted from the Maasai tribe of Kenya, to festival face paint, which is reminiscent of many tribal practice.
Aso-Ebi is the traditional dress of choice for most Nigerian celebrants. It’s common to attend a celebration and find groups co-ordinating their Aso-Ebi and Gele (head tie) according to color schemes and fabrics, including lace. The 2016 Golden Globe Awards saw Scandal actress Kerry Washington don a Dolce and Gabbana dress which seemed to take inspiration from this culture.
Alexander McQueen was berated on social media after the fashion house exhibited a new jacket priced at £4,895, looking like a replica of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Kaba. This traditional cape is worn at ceremonies by the Habesha community, who are resident of the horn of Africa. Needless to say, there was much fury over McQueen’s failure to acknowledge its source
its no fable to say, fashion brands with big names have capitalized on our culture and made several hundred thousands and in most case millions of dollars by refurbishing our ideas and selling it back to us.
Our influence on the overall direction of fashion is undisputed and we are proud to say Afratik is one of the few brands paving the way for African culture by infusing it into various new designs keeping it fresh in the process. its apparent that there is no shortage in demand for our cultural pieces and the supply continues to increase.
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