There is a fashion renaissance going on in Africa – from ready to wear to haute couture, from street clothes to luxury wear. In recent years, the fashion world has seen a flurry of new collections inspired by Africa’s vibrant colours, patterns and textures from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Diane von Furstenberg and Junta Watanabe to name a few. Increasingly, designers and labels are choosing to move the entire production of their collections to Africa. Fashion big hitters Vivienne Westwood, ASOS, Diesel and Edun (the brand label of Bono and wife Ali Hewson) are just some examples of fashion explorers who have found inspiration, sourced sustainable materials, constructed their garments using high-quality, ethical workshops and benefited from exposure in both local and international markets that this vast continent provides. The fashion industry is wising up on Africa’s potential.
These examples of fashion royalty are doing something they’ve hardly ever done before: following in the footsteps of up-and-comers. It is the new young stars of African fashion design that are destined to make headlines in the next few years.
In Fashion Africa by Jacqueline Shaw (creator of the blog Africa Fashion Guide) showcases over 40 of these fresh African designers, across the whole continent from Kayobi in Ghana to Brother Vellies in South Africa and Namibia, with specially commissioned photographs and revealing interviews.
Jacqueline has travelled extensively throughout Africa, chronicling the fashion and textile industry and social enterprises across the continent from Ghana to Nigeria and Southern Africa. Her blog, Africa Fashion Guide, has been highlighted by The Guardian as one of the top ten African fashion blogs.
Fashion Africa by Jacqueline Shaw will be published by Jacaranda Books on 27 February 2014, price £45 hardback, ISBN 9781909762008. For more information or to see preview pages please go to http://www.jacarandabooksartmusic.co.uk/book/fashion-africa/