What is popular in Africa can be misleading, many blogs seem to carry the titles of documenting African fashion when in most cases are documenting fashion of fashion outside of Africa. Most of the designers they list as African fashion might be of African descent but based abroad.
In fact, some bloggers include any designer abroad that uses print fabrics. So in the case of following the odd “African Fashion” blog one will find Stella Jean from Italy in the category of African fashion for using wax print and so forth. As well as a whole list of designers who are unknown in Africa.
Therefore the real gist of what is fashion or fashionable to us is never really shown to the world outside where we are. The reason is that most of the African fashion bloggers are not based in Africa, and before we launched FashionGHANA.com you will only see traces of trends in African based news and celebrity websites.
Hence why when we launched, we made it a strict policy to focus on designers and designs based in Africa or at least those that heavily participate in Africa. By doing this we also managed to give insight to such blogs alerting them of events, designers, and happenings, of which has made some change as far as African fashion blogging is concerned.
In saying this, there is a vague insight into African fashion, leaving the only generalized trend known to be simply wearing wax prints. Which is so common to us we see it as the norm as opposed to a trend. Meanwhile to our surprise, what is norm to us has becoming international trends in the past couple of years.
We are very aware that our fashion styles are free flow, mixed with your own customs styles and beautiful colors. Foreigners, mainly in America, have dawned Angelina prints for over decades, which is known there as the Dashiki. Most assuming this was African fashion or an African trend. But the truth is the Angelina print only recently took off as a trend in Africa in the past year.
Prior to this, Angelina print has always simply been an alternative fabric amongst hundreds of prints in the market. It was never worn as much as it is now. As far as fashion is concerned it is the first and possibly only trend that has swept across Africa and countries outside Africa under the banner of African fashion.
The reason for lack of trends in Africa is due to limited media that document what is going on on the ground with street fashion and designers. I had a conversation with some of Makola’s fabric retailers, all whom admitted in their 10 years of selling fabrics, the Angelina print had never soared in sales the way it is doing at the moment.
The Angelina print, currently produced by Chinese company ‘High Target’ finding it’s way into Ghana via the unregulated sectors of the law, is definitely expanding. There is no publicized or cultural meaning in the print as most fabrics in Africa do, or not that we are aware of. It is simply a very well drawn pattern and very appealing to the eye. And designers across the world are being extraordinarily creative with it, from Africa to Sweden. From plain bodycon dresses to luxurious jackets. In fact our most selling items on our boutique are the angelina print outfits.
And at this moment, one can say as far as fashion in concerned this print could possibly be Africa’s first fashion trend. Where is this trend stemming from? America? Celebrities? Blogs? Who knows! This might be due to the growing social media platforms that can now give a window into what we wear or what we should wear. Time will tell if African trends are trendsetting or trend following. Below as some examples of developments with the Angelina prints.