African culture and fashion are inseparable.
Africans are known to wear bright-coloured prints to enhance the beauty of their coloured skin. Ghanaians are known for their brightly coloured Kente; Zambians are know for their Chitenge, North Africans are known for their embroidered Jalabiya ;and Nigerians are known for their Ankara. All these clothes are worn both regularly and on celebratory occasions. It is a way of elevating each culture as different and special.
Then Europeans came and western styles infiltrated fashion in Africa. They came with a “prim and proper” kind of dressing which was almost the opposite of African fashion. Africans dress to impress each other. The urban areas imbibed and engrafted fully into European fashion much more quickly than the rural areas because of trading accessibility. Most companies nowadays only allow the European dressing in the workplace thereby allowing the African fashion fizzle out.
A lot of people now appropriate fashion from other countries and cultures. Many nationalities now wear Nigerian Ankara and Ghanaian Kente and the North African Jelabiya.
Contemporary fashion designers began to merge the old and the new in order to make sure Africa doesn’t lose her precious fashion heritage. This has made African fashion to evolve in a most beautiful way. It has brought African fashion into a form of oneness.
African fashion designers also took the cue and started to design out a blend of cultural clothing and European- style silhouettes. For example, the Yoruba Asooke has traditionally only been worn at weddings in Iro and Buba style but now , it has taken a different form entirely, with different styles are being crafted out of the versatile Asooke fabric. Similarly, Ankara is now being mixed with other fabric to give you that African/ European look.
The tides of African Fashion have moved from clothes being cultural and worn for special celebration to something we can can wear to promote and create a distinct difference and class for African fashion to the world out there. Now African Fashion is becoming a force to reckon with, because of her distinct features. Designers from Africa are now recognized home and abroad because of their creativity. They have carved out a niche and create a space for themselves in the fashion world.
Most definitely, African fashion in has morphed and modified into something more beautiful, comfortable and has placed Africa on the next pedestal of fashion industry disruption.
A platform such as ANQR is primed to enable as many fashion designers as possible to partake of the benefits of this disruptive change. Even at this startup stage, the most discerning fashion brands see ANQR for what it truly represents, and they have taken steps to align their businesses with this timely phenomenon. Are you a fashion designer? Click here to be a part of this exciting development.
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