African fashion is a political statement. It is a representation of our heritage, where creatives draw inspiration to design a modern depiction of Africa. Creatives from across Africa will turn up in Cape Town and the “mother city” will experience a week-long of fashion and lifestyle festivities from the 9 – 13 April.
On the back of the Condé Nast International Conference of which African Fashion International (AFI) is a major sponsor – AFI is once again bringing together the finest pan-African designers to showcase their latest ranges.
The fashion and lifestyle market bursts with prospects for up-and-coming designers, as well as distributors of raw materials alike. Cape Town will be spoiled for choice as designers from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameron and Morocco with strong African aesthetic in their creations pair up with local favourites such as Maxhosa by Laduma, Imprint and Marianne Fassler.
“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,” says AFI Founder and CEO, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
The African continent boasts the world’s largest millennial population and the fastest-growing middle class. Together, this represents an enormous opportunity for African luxury and commercial fashion brands. International luxury brands have penetrated local markets but lack valid African narratives that speak to distinct sense of style. While the world is investing in appealing to African consumers, home-grown creatives have the responsibility to set the trends.
“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 Precious Moloi-Motsepe adds.