Picture illustration: Timothy Alexander / African News Agency (ANA) – Young Africans are embracing their cultural history by incorporating modern styles with their vibrant and traditional attire.
By Chad Williams
The future is African.
African fashion is blowing up on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, with young Africans proudly wearing their African inspired fashions, as they pay homage to their African roots.
On TikTok, there’s a particular trend called ‘Get Ready With Me’, or GRWM as the TikTokers call it.
This is a trend, where users pretty much get dressed on camera, and show us how they put together their outfits for the day, and I have to say that every time I see a GRWM from Lagos or Kinshasa, my heart leaps with joy at the love these incredible outfits and designs are receiving.
This particular trend or TikTok challenge as it is known is growing even bigger across Southern Africa, West Africa and East Africa.
In fact, it’s become such a powerful movement, that those from the diaspora who are living abroad are proudly wearing their African inspired fashions to go to work or university, all while documenting their entire ‘GRWM’ moment on TikTok before they leave their home.
Young Africans are embracing their cultural history by incorporating modern styles with their vibrant and traditional attire.
Forget everything that you know about African fashion, and take a moment to search the hashtag #africanfashion on any social media platform.
Hashtags such as #africanfashion are so popular on TikTok, that they have already amassed over 100 million views and counting.
Social media platforms are also a great way for African designers to showcase their designs to a broader audience.
The fashion industry on the Continent is not only putting young designers on the map, but it is also attracting international attention from celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Zendaya, Tracee Ellis Ross, Angela Bassett and Beyoncé.
Recently, I read an article by Global Citizen on the rise of African Fashion. This is an excerpt from that article written by Tife Sanusi. “Africa’s fashion is audacious and revolutionary,” and I have to agree 100 percent.
Sanusi mentions designers like Nigeria’s Adebayo Oke-Lawal and Fola Francis who are using their designs to push boundaries and challenge the stereotypes of gender on the continent, while Congolese designer Anifa Mvuemba, meanwhile, is credited as being the first person to curate a 3D virtual fashion show for her label, Hanifa, which went viral in 2021.
I think that it is safe to say that African fashion is dominating the global stage, and all I have to add is, why has this taken so long?
Chad Williams is a multimedia journalist with IOL and the African News Agency (ANA)