Life is far too short for boring clothes and with summer around the corner, it’s time to throw out those winter neutrals! The weather is becoming hotter and more flavorful so why not treat your wardrobe the same? Everyone’s seen the florals and geometric prints that have come down the runway for years but for me, my latest obsession consists of African prints and designers.
FUN FACT: Africa is home to 1.2 billion people with a relatively untapped fashion industry worth about $31 billion!! Learning this has inspired me to buy African prints as well as support African designers without appropriating the culture.
I recently came across Kisua, which is a brand that showcases African design talent. Their goal is to put African fashion on the map in countries like the United States, Spain, France, Italy and England. One of the greatest aspects of the Kisua brand is that their clothing is ethically made, which means there are no sweatshops or violations towards labor laws. Seriously, how can you beat that? Not to mention, a lot of their garments are super cute and relatively affordable.
Whenever I’m looking for inspiration on how to wear African prints I look to Continent Creative’s Instagram for featured designers from their Africa Fashion and Art Week. Another fun fact: Continent Creative is a Los Angeles based public relations and event firm that specializes in African fashion. Their Instagram account has tons of colorful runway photos of African designers such as Ghanian clothing brand: Beriqisu, Vlisco and the Dwomoh-Piper Twins.
Finally there’s Africa Fashion Week which is becoming a global phenomenon founded by Nigerian born technology and communication specialist, Adiat Disu. Africa Fashion Week, which features hundreds of African designers presenting well-made and wearable fashions, is sponsored by Adirée—a marketing and communications firm and can be seen in global cities like New York, London, Milan, Paris and Tokyo.
If you haven’t picked up on this already, I am all about experimental fashion and exploring different colors, prints and patterns. Truth be told, there’s nothing bolder than sporting African prints throughout the summer. Not only will you look fabulous but you’ll also be contributing to supporting an industry that’s waiting to fly its wings, which is a rewarding experience, to say the least. Whether you’re into prints and patterns or prefer more minimalistic pieces, I challenge everyone to have fun this summer with their wardrobe and mix it up in any way possible!
Written by: Briana Jernigen