Hello y'all!!! I was looking at pictures from the Africa Fashion Week London and so I have decided to write about it today. More than 60 designers from Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa amongst others showed their collections. There was everything from show stopping designs to swimwear. I saw some of very wearable pieces on the runway but I also saw a lot of impractical clothing.
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate Afrocentric designers. However, the fact that African fashion is still struggling to be taken seriously by the rest of the world, I think, should have been reason enough for the designers that came, to show wearable pieces that buyers for boutiques and clothing stores can pick up. I venture to say that the reason why our fashion industry is doing so poorly is that the majority of our designers that show internationally think that to create African inspired designs, the clothes have to be costume. I'm sorry but Selfidges and House of Fraser are not going to carry costumes. Neither are any serious boutiques. It seems to me that a lot of our designers have no idea how to edit their designs. They obviously think that success comes from how eccentric the designs are and do not realise that the clothes have to be wearable.
Another issue I have is the fact that the event seemed to attract the media as well as fashionistas but there were no buyers from boutiques and shops. That is the fault of the organisers. Personally, I have been approached by several organisers of fashion events to show a collection at their events and when I ask who will be invited to watch, they always say media and an audience but never buyers. That is always a good reason for me not to take part, especially since these events can be expensive to participate in. Considering the fact that the main objective of taking part in a show is to sell your clothes, the fact that there were no buyers nor were there any serious British fashion editors there, in my opinion, means that the designers that showed weren't given value for their money. Because I can bet that most of the visitors at the event did not buy anything.
The reason why I decided to write this is to bring to our attention the fact that our fashion promoters need to do more. The only person out of all of them that impresses me is Yemi Akerele of Style House Files. Her company has gotten a good number of her clients into major stores abroad. That is what a fashion promoter does, not just a fashion show that is mainly covered by African media.
Anyway, that is my rant for the day. Maybe next time I want to rant, I will make a video instead. I hope I made sense and that this piece will help any designer who reads it to decide which events are worth the investment. I also hope that it will help the promoters restrategise to give their participants better value. In the meantime, remain fabulous, doll!!!