Tuesday, October 18, 2016

African fashion in Europe: Inspiration or Rip Off?

It's always nice to see how a new wave of African fashion is becoming more and more popular even out of the Black continent, as it opens many doors to emerging and talented designers, artists, producers and stores, but to see African fashion as a single and only trend for all African cultures wouldn't be accurate enough, as we know for sure that Africa has a lot of faces and sides to show.

African Dresses African Clothing African Print Dresses

An amazing article published months ago on The Guardian has surely brought out an interesting approach about this idea, explaining the possibility of African fashion being reduced to tribalism and folk tradition, perhaps in a way to easily market a certainly profitable new fashion product to be consumed in Western countries. From Valentino to Louis Vuitton, from Yves Saint Laurent to Dior, many mainstream major designers in Europe and North America have somehow tried to take advantage of this trend by adopting African clich├ęs into their creations, sometimes even forgetting about the essence of the most basic African identity, for example by not showing a single black skinned model on their fashion shows.

Anyhow, who should know more about African fashion than the African designers themselves? Let's listen to the ones actually breathing and feeling Africa, the artists and creators in touch with their communities, walking down the streets of Nairobi, Lagos or Douala everyday, getting a real inspiration out of the people, and not only to the copy-and-paste mainstream stars whose inspiration often comes from past colonial ages and safari movies.

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