African clothing design has been embraced by western fashion due to its creativity and sophistication, which have been introduced by many great African designers. The beauty of the garments they create lies in their uniqueness and style, which does not misplace its culture, spirit or nature. There are many distinctive aspects of African fashion design that make it simply incredible and very original, bringing a part of African culture with every garment.
Most African fashion designers manage to translate age-old colourful traditions into multiple layers of complexity, combining several styles and patterns that surprise through their detailed craftsmanship. African glamour and prints are extremely popular amongst celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith, who deliberately wear African garments created by famous designers, such as Nigerian diva Deola Sagoe, Folake Coker and, ultimately, Ozwald Boateng.
Since African clothing design was highly impacted by western fashion, many designers have chosen to channel their curiosity for cultural diversity into their love for fashion. The depth of these African colourful creations makes the entire fashion industry richer and more authentic, without all garments produced by western designers. In fact, most African garments showcase versatility and femininity, unlike most clothing that come directly from popular fashion designers like Emporio Armani or Victoria Beckham.
For Solome Katongole, a popular African fashion designer who launched the ‘Stripe Me Again’ collection, her creations revolve around chic comfort and colour. Exactly as she describes it, her style offers all people the opportunity to define their own styles, as she translates colour, dance and a sense of feel into her fashion. Katongole is willing to let her followers merge western with traditional African clothing, thereby resulting in authentic garments that can be more special and sophisticated than fashion critics believe.
However, African clothing design is not only about traditionalism. Designers like Lanre Da Silva Ajayi can produce elegant attire for women by combining optical prints and traditional fabrics with a touch of different patterns to create new designs. Her “Colour Storm” collection was fabulous, making a fuss in fashion industry and fascinating fashion critics at the same time.
Even though many would say that African fashion design leaves much to be desired, the truth is totally different. Even if it approaches mostly traditionalism and leaves modernism on the back seat, African fashion design is very popular, bringing a different note of beauty into today’s fashion industry. While fabrics such as cotton are widely spread all over the world, more refined ones, like silk or velvet, are worn only by a small part of the world population, which makes them so popular and extremely unique.
Vibrant, edgy collections occupy the top places in African fashion, which is what makes them so versatile. Yellow hues, bold burgundies and hints of brown are very popular and often times included by fashion designers in their creations, while softer colours, like pale pink or pastels, are left behind. There is definitely something special whenever you look at African fashion clothing – perhaps the fact that it comes from a different culture, or the unique characteristics that make it so easily recognizable. Either way, African fashion industry is rapidly evolving, having a great potential to reach one of the top places worldwide.