The industry needs fresh blood. Armani is tired. Galliano is trying to resuscitate himself. McQueen is gone. Gucci is failing to reinvigorate and Prada needs a new creative team. It’s time for the big fashion investors to start looking to Africa. Not appropriating our themes, but taking on our design talent.
Emerging fashion designers are all across the globe. Out of Africa come EDGE designers – emerging designers who’ve got the edge – to reverse the trend of sameness, excessiveness, and lack of quality.
Due to the growth in consumer interest, Western designers are offering looks influenced by African textiles and African designers incorporate western silhouettes using their local textiles.
Although they have infrastructure and resource challenges, they embrace the opportunities in sustainable practices; fuel the economic need to keep things local; and utilize global reach through the internet. South Africa and Nigeria lead the continent’s top fashion markets, but many designers are thriving throughout.
Africa is a host to many events to showcase their work to the industry. There is a growing trend of Fashion Weeks across the continent.
There are other means of communicating their brand to their audience. Paola Masperi of Mayamiko tells EDGE, in a recent interview | Not-So-Fast- Ethical Fashion – Mayamiko Designed |, of how she exposes her designs, “We select influencers who we feel are aligned with our values and our vision of the world. We connect with them via social media and fashion/sustainability event. But also we look at influencers whose style we like, and we try to work together to bring some of our stories to their style choices.”
EDGE champions Africa fashion designers across the continent and throughout the world. This EDGE Out of Africa series highlights the artistry, purpose, and relevance to the fashion industry of these select few who represent many of the under-represented. As you read these interviews, you will see that the story goes beyond their fashion design business. These designers are philanthropic and advocates for empowering women and children. They participate in their government’s involvement in building awareness and infrastructure to the communities. Many do not have formal training or fashion related degrees, but are educated in bio sciences, mathematics, psychology, and literature. To their fashion business, they bring literary and visual art talent.
EDGE connects with these designers from across the continent and to all the up and coming designers across the globe who have a business model to bring innovation, sustainable practice, and relevance to our culture.
With each of these interviews, videos, and shared content, EDGE is proud to expose each of their rich stories and inspiring journeys.
Feature image: Mayamiko Designed, ©Mayamiko