Unique exploration of how the cultural renaissance following independence evolved into today’s dynamic African fashion revolution.
“We face forward.” – Kwame Nkrumah, April, 7 1960
From Amanda Gorman's resplendent in kente cloth (courtesy of Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton) on the cover of American Vogue to Micheel Obama’s repeated outing in Duro Olowu, African fashion experts worldwide influence. The monumental publication African Fashion discusses how radical post-independence social and political re-ordering sparked a cultural renaissance across the continent.
At the time, designers such as Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah, and Alphadi drew on past traditions, recovered and reinvented them, and so laid the foundation for today’s fashion revolution.
The contributing authors then present the work of the new generation of creatives such as Nigerian fashion designer Lisa Folawiyo, Somali visual artist Gouled Ahmed, Ghanaian woven bag maker AAKS, and Kenyan jeweler Ami Doshi Shah. Their work shows that there is no one way to be African and no single African aesthetic.
The contemporary African fashion scene is as diverse and dynamic as the continent itself, and crucially always has been. With contributions from experts on cloth, fashion, and cultural history, as well as the voices of African makers and designers, this inspiring and arresting book offers a window into one of the most innovative, exciting, and thoughtful areas of fashion today.
- Author: Dr. Christine Checinska
- 224 pages.
- Lucrative market: The current estimated worth of the African fashion industry is $31 billion.
- Celebrity fans: Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, all champion African designers.
- High-profile authors: Features new essays from Bonnie Greer and Gus Casely-Hayford, former director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.
- Long overdue: Nothing else on the market foregrounds African perspectives and voices in the world of fashion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Christine Checinska is Curator of Africa and African Diaspora Fashion at the V&A. A creative designer in the fashion industry for over 30 years, including for iconic brands such as Margaret Howell, she is a Research Associate at VIAD, University of Johannesburg.
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