Traditional African attire carries a long history of heritage and tradition passed down through the years. But the new generation of innovators have bought African fashion forward, combining their patrimony with modern apparel creating a hybrid style that brings years of tradition into a new age.
Trends amongst young people have such as Ankara patch pocket tees, Kente cloth prom dresses and African print snapbacks have shown how you can combine the age old styles of African fashion with modern stylings with, allowing people to express all aspects of their identity through fashion.
It’s not just this new generation African-British youth using this hybrid style as a way of expressing their heritage. Brands such as Adidas, Topshop and Zara have used African fashion as a basis of inspiration for on trendy high-street fashions, which uses African style in western fashion reflecting the Multi- Culturalism of British society . Despite there being some controversy around the reclamation and use a “generic African print” in fashion; big brands using African styles in their clothing does show how African fashion can be impact mainstream fashion beyond borders.
This years AFWL line up is full of designers who are sure set to bring the use of African fashion in design beyond just being just trend. With contemporary fashion designers like AAMAA a la Mode, who have been perfecting the art of balancing the African cultural styles with todays fashion. And with major celebs such as Beyoncé and Solange Knowles and sporting African inspired apparel; this new era of African fashion is being bought closer to the limelight.
This modernization keeps African fashion alive, in a way that engages a new generation and allows for innovation and the creation through new genre of style with a long cultural background at its very foundation. With the hard work of the true creatives of modern African fashion; this seems to just be the beginnings of a new fashion revolution.