From the runway in Lagos and the Afropunk festival in Johannesburg, to the “image makers” of Marrakech and the influencers of Dakar or Accra, a new generation of African fashion designers, photographers, bloggers, and artists are redefining the aesthetic contours of the continent.
Audacious, humorous, disruptive, and innovative are the bywords of these young creatives who, while drawing upon and revalorizing their heritage, offer an ultra-contemporary new perspective. The revolutionary designers—from Senegal to Nigeria to South Africa—are reinventing their textile and historical traditions: bazin fabrics blend with plastics, stretch gives body to woven cloth, mesh beading inspires knitwear designs, and the traditional adire print—championed by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Michelle Obama—embellishes silk dresses and pencil skirts. Body-artists transform their face or hair into an ambulant social manifesto, and photographers—using clothing and accessories—shed new light onto questions of identity, gender, and color.
This volume celebrates a creative, effervescent generation, which—by breaking the rules and rewriting the narrative of the African continent—is inventing a new and resolutely African chapter in the history of fashion that is now resonating across the globe.