Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Africa's Treasures exploited by the World

pics from cp-africa.com (stoned cherrie)

A little after I wrote an article titled "Is African Fashion Ready for the World?" (ifashion.co.za) an article was published in the Financial Times about "Africa's influence in the fashion industry". My interest in this particular subject is brought about by the fact that we oftentimes fail to find beauty in ourselves, resulting in the mimicking of international trends. Which is a pity because the very same people we try to mimick, looking to them to set the standard, are the same people that look to our traditions and colourfulness for inspiration.
This article in the Financial Times attests to this fact.
Many have misinterpreted what I'm saying with regards to this subject. My argument is quite simple; we regurgitate the seshweshwe and Xhosa garb way too much. This is why I was very impressed with Heni's "Voortrekker" concept at Africa Fashion Week. There's a lot more to this continent and we need to be the pioneers in the fashion interpretation of ourselves. It's a shame, though, that Paul Smith, Kenzo and Diane von Furstenberg often beat us to it.

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