Africa is “not afraid of patterns and colors, that’s the one thing that we do in our sleep, so we use it to be louder amongst our foreign friends”, Tanzanian-born Anisa Mpungwe, designer of Loin Cloth & Ashes, said of the continent’s fashion identity to CNN Style.
According to a recent article on the site, a new exhibit and book are giving that voice an international platform by spotlighting the fashion and street styles of Johannesburg, Casablanca, Lagos, and Nairobi — four major African cities.
The exhibit, “Fashion Cities Africa,” which the book is named after, will be the first major showcase of contemporary African fashion in the UK.
There are a few reasons why the show is aptly timed.Data shows Sub-saharan Africa’s apparel and footwear market is currently worth $31 billion. Fashion influencers like FLOTUS Michelle Obama and Beyonce have both worn fashions by Maki Oh — Bey most recently in her much lauded “Lemonade” visual album.
This is all while emerging designers are becoming a major target for various kinds of business ventures.”Fashion Cities Africa” is giving the emerging fashion talent in Africa needed exposure during this time, and hopefully the opportunities will follow.
Check out a few of the African designers to watch, featured in CNN Style.
- “Fashion Cities Africa” by Hannah Azieb Pool (Intellect Press) is out now and the exhibition a tBrighton Museum & Art Gallery in the U.K. runs through January 2017.