Over the past few decades, there have been some significant developments in the African fashion industry which has seen a steady growth of the presence of African fashion designs and models on the global circuit, a pleasing progress to Fa254 which works fervidly in promoting African fashion internationally. Whether one is reading a fashion magazine or scrolling down the social media pages, it has become quite the norm to come across images of African models or young people dressed in garments made from African fabrics, a clear indication of the shifting perception of African Fashion.
Celebrities like Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna have also been spotted rocking African designs and when former US first lady Michelle Obama wore a top by Nigerian designer Maki Oh during her Africa tour in 2013, the world’s eyes were finally on the continent as a serious contender for fashion’s emerging markets.
Africa’s fashion talents are striving to compete with the runways of Milan, New York and Paris and through events like Addis Ababa’s Hub of Africa which works in collaboration with Fa254 and has become one of the major fashion events on the continent. African designers are given a platform that enables them to showcase their creativity not only to the local market but to international buyers as well.
Leading African designers like David Tlale, Kahindo Mateene and Sophie Zinga have also had their collections showcased on the catwalks of New York Fashion Week while in Europe, Italy’s famous Men’s Fashion Show Pitti Uomo held in Florence has had fashion shows titled Generation Africa and Constellation Africa whereby African brands like Orange Culture by Adebayo Oke-Lawal (Nigeria), Dent de Man by Alexis Temomanin (Ivory Coast), Projecto Mental by Shunnoz Fiel and Tekasala Ma’at Nzinga (Angola) and Maxhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa) were spotlighted.
FA254’s latest collaboration with Africa Sourcing and Fashion Week (ASFW) to promote Walk for Business (WFB), a platform which brings professional fashion designers together with international buyers is among the many initiatives being put forth by African Fashion leaders in a mission to provide a sustainable offering to the global fashion industry. Ensuring business growth, Walk for business supports African Fashion designers and their business ventures by providing assistance with the development of systems for billing, shipping, manufacturing, and production timelines.
The project also assists with preparing marketing campaigns for successful promotion of brands, as well as providing support to designers so they are able to recognize which retailers to target in this way ensuring they match their brand aesthetic with the concept of the stores they are presenting to. Walk for Business which will be held in Addis Ababa from 3rd to 6th of October, 2017 is still up for registration and more information can be found here.
These various actions being implemented by African fashion firms including Fa254 are ensuring the promotion of African Fashion designers and the resulting growth of African Fashion businesses on the international map. From design to retail, the skills that are shared through these projects are enriching the ingenuity of the fashion industry in Africa and exposing the abounding talent that is visible across the continent to the whole world.
Written by Faith Katunga