Amanda Adama Ndiaye once stated, “Fashion is like life and just like life, you must always express yourself freely.” This illustrates exactly what African fashion and style are all about. It brings about the positive aspects of a person’s identity through distinct pieces. African fashion is identifiable from a mile away. Its uniqueness is attributed to the varying cultures and subcultures that it coins its patterns and styles from. The following are some of the main characteristics of African fashion
Five Characteristics of African Fashion
- The fabrics used to create intricate designs have vibrant colors, patterns, and distinct prints: The fabrics used to create African designs are not even made by Africans. They were given the name because Africans appreciated them, even though they bought them from European and Asian merchants. With time, African cultures traditions begun to associate the fabrics with them. Each country has its distinct pattern, a mixture of color, and prints. In addition to this, each country has diverse cultures and subcultures, which could either mix or individually work to build o their own design. The diversity creates distinct styles and fabric designs. African designs are rich in color; rarely will you find an African themed cloth with a dull nude theme.
- It is used as a positive protection of the entire continent: Africa has been through a lot since time immemorial. Africans have suffered tremendously with issues such as bad governance and even slave trade. African fashion uses the fashion industry as a platform to display the beauty and strength that African have. Africans chose not to scramble after all the perseverance and pain that they went through. They opted to incorporate the beauty of each culture in the continent into their designs and this distinct creativity is evident.
- It shows the history and composition of Africa: In the past, safari wear, Maasai beads, cornrows, and tribal fusions characterized African designs. There is more to African culture than this. The African continent has about fifty-four countries. Each country with distinct and diverse traditions and culture. Each one has a different outlook on what fashion should incorporate. Most of these diverse views on fashion come about from the different customs that the people have. This plays a big role in educating the world on the customs in different countries. It helps foreigners appreciate various traditions and customs through their designs.
- It is used to display various historic fragments: If you could check the history of African fashion, you will find that it dates back to significant events. An example is the Kontri cloth. This cloth is unique because it is one of the few fabrics that accredit its creation to Sierra Leone. This is one of the few fabrics that Madam Wokie who is an African designer utilized in one of her many collections.
- African fashion and style are growing rapidly and increasing its influence: Africans are slowly appreciating the influence and power hat African fashion has in the world. In the recent years, Dashiki has been one of the many African designs to break the fashion industry. This is a good example of how the fashion industry across the globe is slowly being influenced by African fashion.