African Designers Are Finally Using African Seasons To Label Their Collection: Please End The Confusion


Recently we posted a look book by Menswear Label FemToys. This followed the Rain collection by House of Marie, as well as a few other Harmattan and rain collections posted before.


It is a breath of fresh air to finally see this trend picking up. For years, many African designers who tried so hard to be ahead of others, have pushed themselves into using Spring Summer (S/S) and Autumn Winter (A/W) to label their collection.

Shirt from Femtos Harmattan Collection
Shirt from Nigeria’s Femtoys Harmattan Collection

The latter are seasons that take place in almost all Western countries where most fashion capitals are but definitely not in Sub Sahara Africa, if one excludes South Africa. Which makes these labels fairly ironic to use. If one wishes to know really how embarrassing the use of these label have been read further.

Firstly, the fact that this needs to be explained makes me cringe, but it is definitely necessary as even those at the most professional sector of our industry continue to do so in attempt to copy the west. And whom ever may learn from it would do so.

Spring Summer clothes are as it is, clothes made for the S/S period. Therefore most collections in this field cater for warm weather. Autumn Winter does the opposite and cater for the cold weather. Due to the periods of both seasons this is the timeline western designers work with to release their collections by seasons, where they are displayed the season before (6 months ahead) and released at the appropriate time.

Some may argue that, this is no problem as some Africans are targeting the western world client. Fair enough, but there is no African designer, as far as I know, with mass distribution yet. And except for South African designers and a few Nigerian designers, there is also no designers that has their collections featured on online stores. So that even crosses out the need for them to have collections in the first place, let alone seasoning them for clients they don’t have access to.

It also doesn’t explain why one should label a collection of shorts, t shirts, and summer clothes their Autumn Winter collection. Or their really warm weather designs a spring summer collection. Which is a mistake African designers do when using these labels.

One would have had to have published a lot of look books to see the frustrating embarrassing fault created by the dire eagerness to copy what is seen abroad. At which point the publisher asks himself, do I edit it and save my blog from affiliating with the embarrassment? Do I contact the designer and inform them how silly it looks to the world of fashion? or just shut up and publish it? Well it’s been the last option throughout and a few times the first.

Not only do they get the seasonal description for their clothes wrong but they also get the timing wrong. For example designers release their autumn winter collections in the summer time. ie. march, april, where its both sunny in Africa and many parts of the west.

Dress from Maksi's Clothing Harmattan collection dubbed Nouvelle Royale
Dress from Ghana’s Maksi’s Clothing Harmattan collection dubbed Nouvelle Royale

Copycat business is not bad, I got many concepts of this website from other entities, however, it is best to understand before doing so. At which point you can either be more creative or diverse with it.

So moving away from the critique the wrong and to the complimenting the right. The current use of our own seasonal terms such as rain/fall collection harmattan collection and so forth, could even give birth to new forms of styles that might be emulated around the world.

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