African fashion ‘a source of inspiration for the world’

Loayo Art from Morocco showing at the AFI fashion week at the CTICC in Cape Town, 12 April 2019. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Loayo Art from Morocco showing at the AFI fashion week at the CTICC in Cape Town, 12 April 2019. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Creatives from across Africa gathered for a week-long extravaganza of fashion and lifestyle festivities which ran from 9-13 April.

African Fashion International (AFI) hosted a number of designers from across the continent during its fashion week which was held in Cape Town.

“Africa has always been a source of inspiration for the rest of the world. AFI is set up to showcase and propel African designers in order to promote their businesses. Africa can definitely compete with the global brands given the support and an enabling ecosystem, that is what AFI seeks to facilitate,” said AFI founder and CEO Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.

Creatives from across Africa gathered for a week-long extravaganza of fashion and lifestyle festivities which ran from 9-13 April.

Marianne Fassler showing at the AFI fashion week at the CTICC, 13 April 2019. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

AFI said African fashion was a political statement and a representation of African heritage, where creatives drew inspiration to design a modern depiction of Africa.

“On the back of the Condé Nast International Conference – which AFI is a major sponsor of – AFI Cape Town Fashion Week is, once again, bringing together the finest pan-African designers,” AFI said.

Loayo Art from Morocco showing at the AFI fashion week at the CTICC, 12 April 2019. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

“The fashion and lifestyle market bursts with prospects for up-and-coming designers, as well as distributors of raw materials. Cape Town were spoiled for choice as designers from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameron and Morocco with strong African aesthetic in their creations paired up with local favourites such as Maxhosa by Laduma, Imprint, Marianne Fassler.”

AFI said the African continent boasted the world’s largest millennial population and the fastest-growing middle class, which represented an enormous opportunity for African luxury and commercial fashion brands.

Most said international luxury brands had penetrated local markets but lacked valid African narratives that spoke to a distinct sense of style, and while the world was investing in appealing to African consumers, home-grown creatives had the responsibility to set the trends.

Ghanaian fashion designer Aphia Sakyi took to the stage at the AFI fashion week at the CTICC, 12 April 2019. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

“The idea of going back home is all about building a future, through strengthening the present and acknowledging the past. Our presence in the market is only as great as our ability to stand out,” Dr Moloi-Motsepe added.

The line-up of designers at the AFI Fashion Week included Quiteria and George, who dressed award-winning singer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Maxhosa by Laduma, whose designs featured in the Black Panther film.

African News Agency (ANA)

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