What to Expect from The African Fashion Industry In 2018
A little over a week ago we said our goodbyes to the wonderful year that was 2017, the year that brought us impressive looks from the runway of Hub of Africa and saw Mafi winning the Creative Futures Contest. Though 2017 came with its cool and alluring trends and saw a significant growth of production in the African Fashion industry, we are anxiously anticipating more revolutionary chattels to come out from the industry this year. Here is our quick round-up of the pleasant fashionable things we can expect from the African fashion streets in 2018.
The impact of African culture and beauty on the global fashion scene is undeniable and over the years there has been a significant rise in the number of models of African descent who are walking the runways for fashion’s biggest brands, being featured in the leading fashion magazines and starring in some of the most ground-breaking ad campaigns around the world. 2018 will see the continuing rise of African models in the fashion world joining the likes of Uganda’s Aamito Lagum and Tanzania’s Harieth Paul.
Though Africa’s market for the footwear industry is still in its young stage, the continent is richly endowed with raw materials, remarkable talent and affordable labour that gives it the right push to build an immense footwear industry. Countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria are among those leading the footwear revolution on the continent. In 2015 alone, Ethiopia earned over $30 million from shoe exports, which ranks it ninth in the global leather goods industry. And this is only the beginning. In 2018, we can expect to see more growth from Ethiopia and other African countries, with the value of Africa’s footwear industry possibly growing to $1 billion in the next decade.
An Appreciation of Formal Fashion Training
Studying Fashion in Africa can be a bit of a tricky decision due to value being put in more scientific training. However, it is worth noting that formal fashion education in Africa has existed since the early 1970s, with East and South Africa taking the lead when government across the continent started concentrating on vocational and technical training for increasing employability among the youth and women. Most of these vocational and technical courses in design were inclined towards teaching students tailoring skills rather than fashion design skills. Today, though very few universities across the continent are offering first or master’s degree in fashion, the perception of fashion on the continent is improving as a result of African fashion being increasingly accepted and adopted across the globe. As such, expect to see more fashion education programs being introduced on the continent from Fa254 and others in 2018 with the goal of training and promoting more fashion talent from the different countries.