Naomi Campbell wants an African Vogue yet some people would disagree and say that that is the last thing Africa needs (Check out my opinion on this on IVISTODAY), fashion weeks are popping up in every African city that wants to be taken seriously; we have Dakar fashion week now, Lagos and South Africa, the list goes on. We even have African diaspora weeks in New York, London, Paris and Rotterdam. Yet, despite the fact that the demand for African Fashion is at its peak thanks to social media, Black Panther and just the overall celebration of Africanism – for all the global excitement around contemporary African design, the continent’s fashion industry is struggling to sustain itself. This has to be the most heartbreaking thing for me to hear, designers have difficulties in creating a lucrative retail business beyond their fashion week moment. Without a reliable customer base, profits cannot be maximised which means numerous designers struggle to raise capital to be able to produce next seasons collection.
So what’s the problem?
- Most Africans Do Not Create Fashion By Seasons; fashion is a fast-paced industry that is constantly evolving so how can brands establish a name for themselves without consistency? How do they expect to gain a reliable customer base if they themselves are not reliable?
- Buyers Don’t Buy Designs They Buy Brands; without the funds to not only produce a new collection, designers probably don’t have access to good marketing strategies either. A weak brand means there is no demand and no business wants to stock a brand that people have no interest in.
What’s the solution?
The solution to me is simple; African fashion needs more investors. More people need to invest in these designers to help them reach their full potential because Africa has way too much talent for it to all go waste|!