Last week the year’s global fashion week season started with the famous New York Fashion Week. Afterwards, fashion editors, bloggers, photographers, models and stylists are goingt to head to Paris, London and Milan to complete the annual tour. But the world’s most populated and youngest continent with a clothing industry worth between $15-$31 billion still is waived.
Increasing education levels on the African continent, rising gross domestic product (GDP) and more stable economies have led to a rising middle class with more disposable income to spend on fashion.
„The modern African consumer is becoming more sophisticated“ – says the Swedish photojournalist Per-Anders Pettersson, who photographed fashion weeks in 16 African countries for his book titled African Catwalk.
Although there is no official calendar for African fashion weeks, almost all of the 54 countries on the continent hosts some sort of fashion event.
The following fashion events will take place:
The Joburg Fashion Week from October 4 to 6, 2018 which stands for glitz and glamour, celebrities and supports new designers and the South Africa Fashion Week (October 23 to 27, 2018) which covers the B2B sector and thus is a trade show for buyers to purchase designers’ collections for mass market. Both take place in Joburg bi-annually (next year dates are in April). Furthermore the Soweto Fashion Week also is in Joburg.
Moreover there exists the Cape Town Fashion Week (during the third week of March) that is mainly organized by African Fashion International. On the catwalk will be presented outfits from designers like Gavin Rajah and MAXHOSA by Laduma label. The event supports established and up and coming South African and African designers and encourages South Africans to buy homemade textiles.
The most popular event is the Lagos Fashion Week from October 24 to 27, 2018. It was founded by Omoyemi Akerele, who has developed and executed strategic initiatives to support and strengthen the industry. For him, the Fashion Week is much more than an event, it’s a platform. Many designers who have showcased at LFW have gone on to showcase in Milan and Paris and sell their outfits online on Temple Muse, Alara and online sites like Jumia.
The biggest annual fashion event in the whole of East and Central Africa that is providing a platform for fashion and accessory designers from Swahili speaking countries is the Swahili Fashion Week (November 30 to December 2, 2018) in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.
Besides in Ghana take place the Ghana Fashion and Design Week and the Accra Fashion Week. The annual Ghana Fashion and Design Week shows that there is more to Ghana that a single fabric while the Accra Fashion Week (October 3 to 7, 2018) focuses on production, manufacturing and distribution. There will participate designers from different countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast, and students of design schools like the Imperial Fashion Design School and the Riohs Originate. Another interesting and important fashion week in Ghana is the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Accra (at the last weekend of July) which is additionally sponsored by Maybelline and Samsung.
With the mission to place Congolese fashion on to the international scene the Kinshasa Fashion Week, founded by Gloria Mteyu, will take place in Kinshasa city during the third or fourth week of July.
Starting in the late 60s, Dakar, Senegal has become a cultural hot spot for many years by hosting the World Festival of Black Arts and the Dakart Biennale. Dakar Fashion Week (takes place in third week of June), founded by Adama Paris, began 16 years ago, and became one of the longest running fashion weeks on the continent. About 32 designers (for example Tsemaye Binitie and Thula Sindi) from over 10 countries will present their outfits on the catwalk in Dakar. Especially, one day a street event will take place: One street fashion show will take place in a working class neighbourhood and is open to the public for free.
Following the Fashion Weeks in Africa truly is worth consideration! – The outfits from the different designers and countries are sophisticated, interesting and breath-taking.