The concept of African fashion is soaring under the guise of beautiful colored prints, but brands are still underground. By now we are all aware that China and Holland are vastly eating into the print manufacturing market as far as fabrics is concerned. Nevertheless, despite what many may think, in contrary to a recent viral article, there are lots of print companies in Ghana that are also getting their fare share of the market, as well as a lot of employment for tailors and vendors through the African fashion process.
However the concept of branding and brands are still quite invisible as far as designers go. There has been a break through in the recent years with celebrities wrapping themselves up on the red carpet with clothes from African designers, which is beautiful and enlightening. But what could become of African designers if the likes Wizkid and co were to continuously call out African brands just as much as they do with champagne and car brands.
Once upon a time, this happened in hip hop, which gave rise to labels such as Karl Kani, FUBU (For Us By Us) and even Tommy Hilfiger. However, mainstream brands acknowledged this power in rap music and it got bought out by all kinds of companies, to the point every second you here M’M’M’M’Maybach Music.
Some might think rappers spurt out these words just to sound good, but it has consistently been a marketing tool by companies knowing very well rap may be an African American culture but it is highly rotated across the world. It is no coincidence Louis Vitton, Gucci, Dom Perignon, Versace, Crystal are some of the most selling brands in the categories. All of this growth comes under the sponsoring of rappers to call out their brands via record labels. Whilst keeping their image clean of any association with the artists and their controversial lifestyles.
Unfortunately African musicians are already calling out these mainstream brands in times when showing they are living the highlife. The difference between the D’Banj and co, and the Puff Daddy’s and co, is the African artists are not being sponsored by these brands. They have naturally gravitated into the culture of calling out such names.
It won’t be long before the major corporations start to realize the power of African musicians and their influence and begin buying them out to call out their labels. The question is would there be any hope for African designer brands to be fully merged with African musicians that are now international? Or is it that African brands are not ready to put their money where the artists is.
We are yet to here any of these international African artists such as Davido, Don Jazzy, Sarkodie and more call out a fashion label based in Africa to the point where we can actually sing along with it. The lack of finances on behalf of the fashion brands may prevent us from seeing the formation of this bridge.
But if our ‘now international’ musicians begin to adopt this trend, it could not only give rise to the designer brands, but a strong push to the whole African fashion industry. From tailors to vendors to advertisers and more. However, both players in the fashion and music industry are going to have to make steps towards this reality. It is only right their the fruits of their hardwork is compensated especially when bringing in resources for the fashionistas.
Remember to Shop Your Print Look from Our Online Boutique at http://www.fashionghana.com/shop