African fashion is definitely on the rise and the west is noticing. We are going back to our roots and learning to appreciate our own. The arts industry is one to watch, with creatives expressing themselves through their work and leaving a permanent impression on those of us with a true acceptance of all things artsy.
African fashion is not always about the elaborate African print better known as kitenge, khanga, doek, ankara you name it. It can also be pieces made from modern fabrics of all textures.
Brands like CocoLili Africa are celebrating the #whomademyclothes movement.
This is a movement designed to create awareness for the importance of purchasing pieces from local designers, celebrating local designers and giving them credit based on their wonderful work. This is a game changer for the local fashion industry, designers coming together, using their voices to bring much-needed change.
With that in mind, one of the West African designers we should all know about is the fascinating Paolo Sisiano.
He was the finalist for the GT Bank Lagos Fashion & Design week awards back in 2013. Paolo is the creative director for the Sisiano label that features two ranges, Ms. Green and Sandru.
His brand is a gift to the African fashion industry. Ms. Green is a fashion representation of feminine pieces created for a woman with a keen devotion to fashion.
Sandru, on the other hand, happens to be a menswear line for the stylish man not afraid to push the fashion envelop every now and then.
The brand has developed chic silhouettes, bold colors, and minimalism which is everything that is currently attractive to fashion enthusiasts across the globe.
Not only does the brand shut down runways across the continent, but it is seen from spread to spread on various magazines. The designs are also seen on the bodies of some of Africa’s most famous celebrities like South Africa’s Bonang Matheba.
I think this brand is a true representation of the global revolution that will come from the African fashion industry. It is a breath of fresh air and properly executed. Fashion critics love the brand and the designer is obviously a talented visionary.
Support local brands and learn more about your local fashion industry. That is a challenge I pass on to you as I do the same.