Out of Africa comes an emerging fashion market which plays an important role in this global enterprise. This market is true to the African culture and the consumers are responding to the newness that African designers present against the sea of sameness so prevalent in the industry.
Redefine your perception of Africa. With the growth fueled by economic and communication developments, Africa represents an opportunity for all disciplines along the supply chain. Retailers, need something different to offer your consumer? Global suppliers and manufacturers, invest. The industry is responding to a demanding market in spite of the lack of a modern infrastructure.
Africa is home to six of the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world; it boasts the world’s fastest-growing middle class and has a rapidly emerging class of high-net-worth individuals that is growing at more than twice the rate of its peer group in Asia. – Liya Kebede | Op-Ed, Approach Africa With a New Mindset | thebusinessoffashion.com.
Africa’s 55 independent countries, collectively, represent an opportunity as both a source of production and a consumer market for fashion. Local designers and wholesalers are emerging and dozens of new shopping malls are being built.
Africa’s textile and production hubs are reclaiming their market and realizing their potential to service the globe. EDGE interviews several designers in the EDGE Out of Africa series to gain an understanding of the fashion business in Africa. Tobi Martins of Prima Rouge says in an interview with EDGE, “It is important for aspects of our clothing to be sourced locally especially because we are an African contemporary brand and we do draw inspiration from our local fabrics.”
Paola Masperi of Mayamiko goes on to say, “Africa is a big continent and has a rich variety of textiles, unfortunately some of the artisanal traditions are dying out under the pressure of increasing competition from cheap imports and second hand goods. It is very hard to compete on price. We try to source as much as we can locally – this is part of our commitment to the community.”
International exposure is on the rise with plenty of Africa business web portals, fashion week events, designer websites, and both local and global media.
“Social media is and remains one of the most cost effective and viable ways to promote awareness in this age. We use this as a major push tool and we also do TV features as well as magazine features in order to promote our designs. Another aspect we are currently exploring is the pop-up shop route where we stock our pieces across small and medium stores in the country.” – Tobi Martins of Prima Rouge | EDGE interview – ‘Buy a Piece, Change a Life’ | Prima Rouge Making a Social Impact
Local emerging brands take pride in the economic impact they make on the industry as Fikirte Addis of Yefikir Design tells EDGE in an interview,”. . .it makes a very significant contribution in terms of improving the livelihood of all those found within the value chain; spinners, weavers, crochet makers, embroiderers, designers, etc.”
EDGE is a platform to connect emerging designers to the industry through exposure, editorial, exhibition, and education. EDGE presents emerging designers in it’s EDGE Out of Africa featured content series. The series includes interviews, videos, sustainable fashion, and related links.
Feature Image: Yefikir Design | photo: Kyle Lamere