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Home / Features / Global Style: Why African Fashion Is All The Rage Nowadays
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Global Style: Why African Fashion Is All The Rage Nowadays

In the last few years, African style has continued to gain clout. You will see a lot of popular social media influencers talking about their favorite African designers and pieces. Plus, Hollywood is definitely taking notes.

Contributing to the craze is the fact that there are now more successful African celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o, Yvonne Orji, and Danai Gurira, who are all incredibly smart women as well as staunch supporters of African fashion. You see them on the red carpet and they automatically grab all the attention and even make it to the best-dressed lists.

Overall, what's not to love about African tribal fashion? To further enlighten you, here are seven reasons behind the increasing popularity of traditional and inspired styles from this continent.

1. Color, Color, Color

An abundance of vibrant colors is perhaps the most prominent quality or feature of an African tribal clothing line. African designers are all about the standout colors, and they combine them so well.

Then again, most colors simply look amazing on deep skin tones: yellows, lime greens, golds, fuchsias, reds, purples, and cobalt blues. Therefore, if people want a cheerful and high fashion-looking piece, it's often easy to find it in an African fashion brand.

2. Beyonce and “Black Panther”

Pop culture is certainly a driving variable and Beyonce, right now, is one of the most important figures in pop culture. The music royalty is also a fashion icon, and she's been rocking a lot of African fashion in the last few years, which naturally has inspired millions of her fans. For fans, Beyonce can do no wrong when it comes to her fashion choices and they can be stylishly on point by emulating her style.

Another pop culture driver behind the popularity of African fashion is the American superhero movie “Black Panther.” This film brought beautiful and strong women, and the wonderful fashion of the continent, to the world's attention.

3. Regal Silhouettes

African fashion boasts of regal silhouettes. They're voluminous and unique, and they beautifully display the geometric potential of fabrics. A lovely example of this is the outfit worn by the stunning Florence Kasumba at the London premiere of “The Lion King.”

Her David Tiale dress was reminiscent of traditional robes for African royals; it showed no skin, just the impressive artistry, and craftsmanship in design. The sleeves were big and bold, the skirt was long, and the piece just glided across the floor.

Many traditional African clothing styles make use of this regal and dramatic silhouette, which is actually what many of today's stylish women go for.

4. Exciting Prints and Patterns

Aside from vibrant colors, African tribal and inspired fashion shines because of the creative patterns and prints they showcase. When it comes to patterns and prints, designers from the continent use them in profusion. You have lines, geometric shapes, faces of people, the Afro puff, the safari scene, animals, mythical creatures, and so much more.

These patterns and prints can instantly transform drab basic pieces into fabulous get-ups. If you want some tips on how to combine basics with African tribal pieces, take a cue from fashion-forward Solange Knowles who effortlessly provides simple pieces with a spicy African upgrade.

5. Versatility

Do you know that there are so many ways that you can transform traditional African clothing? Long robes can turn into a pantsuit. Kurta-style shirts can morph into several different dresses or entirely new shirt designs. On top of those, they offer so many pairing possibilities.

If you invest even in just a single piece of high quality African tribal clothing, there's no doubt that it will deliver outstanding fashion mileage.

6. Unique Cuts

As mentioned earlier, traditional and African-inspired clothing designers go big on design. Therefore, they come up with ingenious cuts to create an exciting yet flattering shape.

There are always asymmetrical cuts in various executions, which are quite flattering because they cleverly accentuate parts of the body that women like to show off and draw attention away from common insecurities. Therefore, you can be sexy and modest at the same time.

A lot of African designers also say that they incorporate unique cuts to the dresses for mobility. This is why dresses often have a long slit, but they also include structured trousers to pair with the dresses.

7. Something for Everybody

African fashion lines are inclusive; you will find that there's always a piece that's just perfect for you. If you're a conservative dresser, there's no shortage of pieces that are long and provide adequate cover. And, if you have a sassy style, there are African-inspired dresses that are constructed to show off a curvy female body.

It's worth mentioning as well that African prints are now applied to classic pieces such as suits for men (which, by the way, were worn by a South Korean boy band), pencil dresses, wraparound dresses, jeans, and even wedding dresses.

African fashion is taking over the world because it’s a reflection of its lovely people — they are exciting, fun, versatile, and with a whole lot of attitude. So, if you are looking to energize or spice up your wardrobe, one of the smartest things you can do is to invest in this vibrant style of clothing.

AUTHOR BIO

Ethiopian-born and Dubai-based fashion designer Feiruza Mudessir discovered her curiosity to mix the traditional with contemporary at a young age, and this has become the trademark of her designs for Finchitua today. With her unique style standpoint, she served the VIP Color Forecast Panel 2017 for Al Jazeera Paints Company and VIP Color Forecast Panel 2019 for Asian Paints Berger. Ms. Mudessir is a shortlisted nominee for the prestigious Fashion Scout London 2018.



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