African Models for Jean Paul Gaultier @ Paris Fashion Week & African Influence In Fashion Capitals


If you want a review, all I can say is the items look great, but then again Paris and Milan Fashion Week have always maintain their grounds when it comes to showcasing some of the best of the fashion capitals. The outfits where great and seem to be highly inspired by African fashion, and this goes to show Africa is in Fashion.

When we say Africa is in Fashion, Africa really is in fashion. Take a few steps back three years or so ago and we had Naomi Campbell speaking out highly against racism in the industry and Vogue Italia setting off it’s ‘All Black’ Issue. Forward to 2013, the whole world is look at Africa’s booming economy and talent for not only sales, but also production.

No one can identify where a designer gets their influence from, excep the designer her/himself. Nevertheless, one can not deny, Africa was written all over Jean Paul Guiltiers new collection, despite the press describing it as ‘gypsy’. And using a nice array of African models down the runway, there is no denying the likely hood of this being true.

All said, one must not be naive to continue to think major designers are actually bent over the sewing table 100% of the time actually cutting and sewing all the pieces themselves. There is a stage where ‘assistant’ designers get ontop of their creativity and cuts, past a few demands made by the executive/marketing board. Only if I could put my finger on what we are looking at, I might say there could be Malian inspiration in what we see, but I could also be a 100% wrong.

Most important is, we are all aware we are coming to an age where Africa is soon to sit ontop of the fashion industry, this is not to say there is an end to the neglect of black models, designers or anything black abroad, this is not even to say fashion houses in Africa will or will not be better than that of Europe. However, the major fashion houses understand one thing well, business and money. And at that juncture, location, gender, nor colour will limit their objectives.

African fashion is growing, and we don’t necessarily mean the African fashion industry, we mean the African fashion culture. We are approach the days where marketing your garments to black/African women and their spending power is something that the average designer would be stupid to ignore, be it in Africa or abroad. And in saying this, we would see a transition so smooth it might just pass our acknowledgement, where black models are highly used. Not because of racism against white women, not because of some infatuation or love for the black skin, simply because they will strike a target audience, one which stems from the booming economies of Africa.

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