Photo Credit- Island Boi Photography
The African influence in the global fashion industry can clearly be seen everywhere in the world such that African fashion is no longer restricted to the African continent only. Owing to the growing number of African fashion designers that have started showcasing their designs in the Western countries be it through indepenently organised Fashion shows or the prestigious runways of Fashion week in New York, Milan, Paris and London. African Fashion is making its mark on a world stage, bregularly adopted and integrated in the designs and style of some of the biggest names in Fashion.
Here are some of the African fashion trends loved and followed by designers, influencers and fashion lovers all across the world
1. African Folkloric Aesthetics
It is no longer uncommon to see western fashion designers infusing stunning folkloric African prints, patterns and art in their collection. We have observed how high-end brands like Hermes, Dolce and Gabanna and Ralph Lauren have added a colonial touch to their collection while others like Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Celine, but to name a few, have also added a hint of African-inspired aesthetics and cultural references to their collections.
2. Ankara Fabrics
African fabrics are no longer viewed by Western audiences and buyers solely as “traditional dress”. The fashion industry including designers, influencers and celebrities have truly embraced these fabrics not only for their vibrant colours and unique patterns but also for its durability and the ease to which it can be manipulated. Originating from West Africa, we have seen the Ankara fabric adorn the runways of mega fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney. A number of A-list celebrities such as Beyonce, Rihanna and Kelis have also been spotted in Ankara ensembles on red carpets and events. The fabric is used to make a growing number of fashion items- clothing, shoes, bags, jeweller and countless accessories for men and women.
Typically worn by African women as part of a formal traditional wear, head-wraps are now trending across different countries as a global fashion accessory. We have seen head-wraps worn both as occasion wear and for casual dressing with a pair of jeans and tees. Japanese fashion designer Junya Watanabe’s African-influenced Spring 2009 collection boasted head wraps of sheaths of flowers and leaves while Marc jacobs controversially put head-wraps on his all white models during his S/S 18 fashion show at New York fashion week. Head-wraps have become an on-trend fashion accessory with different fashion lovers and influencers incorporating it into their stylish wear.
4. Bold Colours
Even if you have never been, but you were to describe Africa only in colour, you will probably go with rich, bold, vivid and vibrant colours infused together to make the most electrifying collage . Over the years, designers, stylists and fashion lovers all over the world have embraced the vibrant colours of Africa across all seasons. We have seen this trend in clothing as well as accessories, worn by all skin tones. people are no longer afraid to mix up uncoventional colours and breaking away from norms- From shocking pink paired with mustard yellow, bright orange mixed with deep purple to cobalt blue and a splash of lime green. These colours mixtures are findng their way to the runway, on the high streets and into our homes. So grab your little punch of colour this season and have fun with it!!!