In the 21st century, African fashion is in the global spotlight, from runways to its use by celebrities in music videos and film. It is almost impossible to ignore. When influential people like Beyoncé and Michelle Obama step out on red carpets wearing African clothing, they turn heads, and reinforce trends to follow.
African culture is popular around the world right now, Afrobeats and African dancers are on almost every screen. This inevitably causes the world to take note of what they are wearing. There are a large number of young Africans living around the world, who are increasingly trying to reconnect with their heritage. This includes learning about fashion from their homeland and adopting it to feel more in touch with their roots.
At Imperial Roots-1 we want people to connect to the heartbeat of Africa. Through the heritage of the Creative Director and our involvement in art, design and culture, we aim to show the beauty of African tribes through our designs. Our use of denim, an indigenous hand-made Arican fabric, is testament to this.
The essence, traditional meaning and design of the material have been preserved. We use the fabric to create beautiful modern jackets and trousers, which we coin “African Denim”. Through this, we breathe new life into the cloth. With our collections we also want to showcase the richness and variety of culture in Africa, unseen anywhere else in the world.
The Future of African Fashion
Social media has also played a huge role in familiarizing the world with African fashion. Certainly, seeing in real time how Africans dress and the variety of styles available makes people want to connect with African culture and style.
The future is bright for African fashion, but only if they take hold of the narrative and get in front of the current boom. In order to avoid another tale of exploitation, designers must also learn to be business savvy, putting the correct infrastructure in place for the manufacture and sale of their products. Recognition isn’t the end game. As consumers, rather than buying African-inspired collections from western brands, buy from Africans brands.
African fashion designers deliver fresh shapes and vibrant colors, which the world yearns for right now. We hope they make a long-lasting impact, which will spur on future generations of designers.