|THE FOUNDERS OF THE KENYAN-SOUTH AFRICAN LABEL LALESSO|
ARE CONSIDERED BY BUSINESS OF FASHION AS GLOBAL
FASHION INDUSTRY SHAPERS
Lupita Nyong’o, Johann Rupert and his daughter and owner of Merchants on Long Hanneli, the Lalesso duo and Nigeria’s Omoyemi Akerele are among the 13 people of African descent who make the businessoffashion.com BOF500 list for 2014. The annual list claims to be about the “People who are Shaping the Global Fashion Industry”. In basic terms, these are the people the website believes are the global fashion industry’s most influential and these are the people they think are changing the fashion landscape.
I agree to some extent with some of their choices but I also disagree with many. To be quite honest, I don’t know how much research goes into this thing but I think the African names on this list are mostly there because of the attention they get from the global fashion media (let’s not go into the media’s coverage of Africa, that’s another new, very long blog post). The list has very little to do with people who are really the movers and shakers of the status quo.
It doesn’t take much research to find out who the chairman of Richemont (Johan Rupert) or his daughter Hanneli. Let’s not even speak about Lupita Nyong’o because… Hollywood. It does, however, take a lot more than Googling or reading your favourite blogs to find out who is making a difference in any industry; who is shifting perceptions, who is creating jobs, who are the innovators who are ACTUALLY shaping what the future will look like for the "globe" and not just America and Europe. I’m not playing anyone’s contributions down here because contribute much, they do, but I honestly feel that when it comes to this continent BusinessofFashion.com really did a lousy and pretty much lazy job of finding out what is going on. The only way that these are the only Africans who can be considered to be contributors towards the shaping of the global fashion industry is if what is happening in this continent is not regarded as part of what is rolling out in the said “global” fashion industry. The only way is if Africa is really not considered by the editors of this website as being part of the “globe”.
This is the full list of Africans who made the cut:
Hanneli Rupert, businesswoman & owner of Merchants on Long and Okapi
Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont
Adrian Joffe, President of Dover Street Market
Alice Heusser & Olivia Kennaway
Ian Moir, Woolworths Chief Executive (listed under SA even though he is of Australian origin)
Omoyemi Akerele, MD: Stylehouse Files
Sydney Toledano, CE: Christian Dior
Azzedine Alaïa, Designer
Jean Touitou, Founder of APC
Edward Enninful, W Magazine Fashion & Style Director
Liya Kebede, Model & Businesswoman
Susan Sabet, Publisher