All Articles Tagged "African fashion"
And the year of Kerry continues. With a hit television series resting nicely under her belt, a buzzed-about movie currently in theaters, and a red carpet style that won’t quit, we expect to be seeing Kerry Washington‘s face everywhere this year. Now she’s kicked off 2013 with a hot cover from the London-based, African fashion glossy, ARISE magazine. Big talent for a big issue.
ARISE’s issue 18 includes some read worthy features. They “explore Africa’s top ten growth industries for 2013 and introduce ten African talents set to hit the big time in 2013,” ARISE explained on their site.
Read more on StyleBlazer.com.
The vibrant, colorful fabrics of African traditional clothes are gaining new life and growing popularity on the global fashion scene. Times Live reports that at a recent fashion show in Lagos, Nigeria, African fashion designers from across the continent showcased their innovative, bold designs and declared their ability to transcend the traditional and raise the bar for unique and cutting edge fashion.
More than 70 designers participated in the Arise Magazine Fashion Week show, including a few from outside Africa. Styles showed a break from the long wrap around skirts with matching tops and head wraps; instead models wore form fitting jumpsuits and pencil skirts all created from the traditional Ankara or Dutch Wax cloth.
“African designers have definitely come of age,” Penny McDonald, one of the organizers of the recent event said to Times Live.
“Our chosen designers all created contemporary, wearable, creative African designs that are commercial enough to transport internationally.”
Designer Tsemaye Binitie, a Britain-based Nigerian designer acknowledged African fashion’s move to a global direction. He launched his own label by the same name two years ago, and says his business is one of those doing more contemporary styles. Nigerian designer Maureen Ikem Okogwu-Ikokwu, based in Thailand, notes that it seems to be Africa’s time
“In Bangkok, people love it because it’s something different. It’s something new. It’s something vibrant,” said Okogwu-Ikokwu said.
Not all of the fashion designers focused simply on westernizing African styles. Designer Loza Maleombho from Ivory Coast stood out from most with her collection completely made from traditional African textiles, including fabric from her own country as well as Ghana’s bright cotton kente cloth. Her models proudly wore brown turbans traditionally worn by Tuareg nomads. Nigerian designer Maki Oh’s styles showcased baggy trousers reminiscent of the men’s agbada suit, made from the traditional aso-oke loom woven fabric.
“Africa is quite a new emerging fashion centre,” South African designer Malcolm Kluk said to Times Live. “Europe and America are quite saturated in terms of fashion. If you think of Prada and Gucci – there’s almost one in every street corner now. If one is looking for new fashion frontiers, maybe Africa will be that.”
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In the world of fashion African designers don’t often get the shine they deserve. But now, thanks to a look book, New African Fashion, by Helen Jennings. You’ll be able to explore collections and learn about relevant designers from the continent.
Check out the designers you need to know over at Black Voices.
by Belinda Otas
In recent years, the African fashion landscape has experienced a rapid change that shows no sign of stopping. With designers who have honed their skills, a savvy generation of African bloggers, fashion journalists, websites and magazines, at no other time in history has there been this level of focus on what designers from the continent can do. The dominance of Paris, London, Milan and New York Fashion Weeks as the ultimate fashion capitals of the world is been challenged with over 7 fashion weeks on both sides of the Atlantic dedicated to African designers. From Dakar Fashion Week to Arise Fashion and Africa Fashion Weeks on the African Fashion calendar, the industry continues to grow and evolve in substance and strength.
It has not always been this way. Beatrice Arthur, of Ghanaian and Russian heritage, is the founder of B’EXOTIQ. Known to many as Bee, the designer can remember vividly just how much things have changed. “As a child, I recollect that going to a kiddies party wearing an African dress was a guarantee that the other kids would tease you throughout,” she said. “But over the decades, fashion in Africa has evolved tremendously. Our women can now opt for smart skirt suits and Hot short dresses or hot pants with halter neck tops. There’s more variety in terms of colours, patterns and textures. Our designers are getting more innovative and attention is paid to finishing and details. We enjoy the fabrics and clothing much more now and it’s no more synonymous with “not being modern.”
It is a challenging task to define what African fashion is, given that Africa is a continent of 53 nations with diverse people, cultures, traditions and sense of style. While Arthur says its “traditional African or contemporary garments made entirely or partially with African fabrics,” Dolapo Shobanjo, originally from Nigeria and co-founder of My Asho, a leading online retail outlet for African designs, gives a more complex view. “There’s no simple definition of African fashion. There’s a big misconception that it’s defined by African prints or tribal themes, but that’s not necessarily so. African fashion has its own aesthetic which is typified by the African woman who is so diverse and hard to define, strong and Amazonian. African fashion captures your attention. It’s bold, colourful and elegant and it’s international. It’s art.”
(Crain’s) — Ibrahima and Fatima Doukoure started Bebenoir in 2004. At the time, he worked as an account representative at Mediterranean Shipping Co., and she was in advertising sales at Nielsen. The salaries and benefits were welcome, but Mr. Doukoure had always longed to start his own fashion line. At friends’ urging, the couple decided to follow that dream. Their first product was a brown T-shirt with the message “Born In Africa” written across the front. The two kept their corporate jobs and spent weekends “driving around and begging people to buy the shirts,” Ms. Doukoure says.
We all know that Africa is a continent and not a country, right? Right! Well, it is also a source of inspiration for many fashion designers. Celebrities of all hues have been donning the attire that represents the Motherland in a diverse array of patterns, cuts and colors. Dig into these well known names who rep Africa on red carpets and runways.
(CNN) – Tiffani Amber, a top Nigerian designer who is known around the world, talks about the fashion industry in Nigeria and the global demand for ethnic designs.