Africa in Fashion

African-inspired fashion is taking the world by storm. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys are donning Kente cloths and Ankara print fabrics. Mambo goes in search of these new looks and the people who are bringing them to the mainstream.
Fashion model on catwalk

African-inspired fashion is taking the world by storm. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys are donning Kente cloths and Ankara print fabrics. Mambo goes in search of these new looks and the people who are bringing them to the mainstream.

What is African-inspired fashion?

It is clothing which is inspired by African aesthetics or made by a designer with an African touch – irrespective of which part of Africa.

What’s exciting about it?

The clothes that are being designed go beyond the traditional ‘national dress’ look and compete with high-street fashion. The trend extends to fashion accessories such as handbags and purses.

Where can you buy it?

The advent of online shopping has provided a platform for makers of African-inspired fashion. There are many places to search for the best outfit or fashion accessory in the ever-increasing number of online shops. Some high street shops also sell African lines. Maybe this summer could be the time for you to try out some African-inspired looks?

Here are some websites to help you put your African look together:

www.sapelle.com – offers a wide range of original fashion and accessories sourced from brands, social enterprises and artisans from all over Africa.

www.ankcara.com – aims to connect African-inspired fashion, art and accessory designers and retailers with those who appreciate the expression of unique fashion.

www.africanhighstreet.com – their mission is to spread positive stories of Africa through an exciting and diverse range of products from and inspired by Africa, by Africans.

Let these images from some UK-based designers inspire you:


Africa Fashion Week London

One of the best opportunities to find out more about African-inspired fashion in the UK is Africa Fashion Week London. Founded in 2011, the event aims to celebrate the work of African and African-inspired designers in the UK and worldwide. To date, many designers have showcased their works to well over 20,000 people at the annual event.Africa Fashion Week London takes place between 7-9 August at Olympia London this year. Find out more from: www.africafashionweeklondon.com

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