From Africa to Haute Couture

Spring 2015, by Aissatou Marafa-Abbo


Traditional African attire carries a long history of heritage and tradition passed down through the years. But the new generation of innovators have bought African fashion forward, combining  their legacy with modern apparel creating a mixture of style that brings years of tradition into a new age.

Trends among young people have such as patch pocket tees, Kente cloth prom dresses and African print snapbacks have shown how you can combine the age old styles of African fashion with modern stylings with, allowing people to express all aspects of their identity through fashion.


It’s not just this new generation African-British youth using this hybrid of style as a new way of expressing their estate. Brands such as Adidas and Zara have used African fashion as a basis of inspiration for on trendy high-street fashions, which uses African style in western fashion reflecting the Multi- Culturalism of British society . Despite there being some controversy around the reclamation and use a “generic African print” in fashion; big brands using African styles in their clothing does show how African fashion can be impact mainstream fashion beyond borders.

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This years AFWL (African Fashion Week London) is full of designers who are sure set to bring the use of African fashion in design beyond just being just trend. With contemporary fashion designers who have been perfecting the art of balancing the African cultural styles with todays fashion.  And with major celebs such as Beyoncé and Solange Knowles  and sporting African inspired apparel; this new era of African fashion is being bought closer to the limelight.

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This modernization keeps African fashion alive, in a way that engages a new generation and allows for innovation and the creation through new genre of style with a long cultural background at its very foundation. With the hard work of the true creatives of modern African fashion; this seems to just be the beginnings of a new fashion revolution.

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