Africa’s fashion industry is among the continent’s rising frontiers, with indication showing that the continent could soon be the world’s new fast fashion factory.
That means, fashion industry could overtake household names that ruled the global scene for decades, such as London, Miami or Manchester.
The continent is increasingly becoming a top destination for fashion firms, exploring new market opportunities. This trend portents an economic turnaround for economies and transformation of lives through job creation.
With high levels of unemployment in Africa, the region becoming a fashion capital is good news for governments.
For instance, the clothing industry employs around 300 million people, mainly from poor countries.
While Africa depends heavily on agriculture, fashion and textile industry come second with a market value of $31 billion in 2020, according to TFI Global.
For decades, Africa has been as a source of raw materials for the global textile market, especially cotton, which contributes 15.93 percent to the sub-Saharan exports. The industry further employs nearly half a million people, with South Africa and Ethiopia still the continent’s top cotton producers.
Cementing Africa’s Fashion Industry
Countries like Senegal are also becoming a fashion hub to watch, if a show organized by Chanel in Dakar in December 2022 is anything to go by.
Organizers of the show chose Dakar for its massive investment in sports and arts and for the fact that the city’s culture knows no bounds.
Some of the leading fashion brands to watch in Africa are from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Morocco.
Those from Nigeria include Abigail Ajobi and Oshobor while Ajabeng and Boyedoe are from Ghana. Meraki Jewellery Design and Shezi Heru from South Africa are also promising brands as well as Sahrzad Designs from Morocco, Tackussanu from Senegal and Jiamini Kenya from Kenya
Africans too are competitive, both regionally and on the global map. In a recent online pageant, a 14-year-old Nigerian, Miss Zelma Tetua was declared winner.
Tetua was the first African to scoop the African Fashion for Peace World award, having been won by Americans in its previous two editions, further underlining Africa’s potential.
On the global scene, American singer song writer and dancer Beyoncé Knowles has announced her first new tour in nearly seven years.
In the announcement made on Wednesday, February 1, the music star said she will take her latest album “Renaissance” on the road around Europe and North America.
The 5 month “Renaissance World Tour” will kick off in Stockholm on May 10, moving across the continent until the end of June. It will then resume in Toronto in July before closing in New Orleans in September.
The songstress 41, released Renaissance, her seventh studio album containing the hit track Break My Soul, in July 2022 and has earned her nine nominations at the upcoming Grammy awards.