International Competition for Africa
Any idea how Africa’s fashionistas managed to become important in the huge and competitive world of fashion that exists today? Well, it all started by deciding to support annual events such as Lagos fashion week and African Fashion Week Nigeria. These events have given the opportunity for great designers to showcase their work and to become noticed by bigger markets.
The country is taking huge steps in being able to provide the worlds fashion industry with unique and quality products. Oke Lawal, the designer behind Orange Culture brand, made a self-funded debut at Lagos Fashion Week which differentiated him from many other designers and led to his nomination in the 30 designers for the LVMH prize in 2014. He believes there has been a great positive change during the past years and has noticed that there are a lot more investors willing to support new brands and young designers. Some of the names he mentions as supportive companies are the Bank of Industry and NEPC. “Manufacturing has also rapidly improved and textile factories are popping up." Oke says.
Although Africa is decades behind in the industries development compared to fashion capitals like Milan and New York City, it is clear that everything is moving in the right direction. Not only are young people aware of the possibilities of growth in the industry, but big companies are finally opening their eyes on the importance that exists in supporting young entepeneurs - since they are the future of the country’s economy.
Today, big impact celebrities such as Michelle Obama and Wizkid are helping to give the world a peek on the many varieties, new designs, and beautiful garments the African fashion industry has to offer. For example, a few years ago, When Michelle Obama wore a blouse by a Nigerian designer during her African tour in 2013, millions of viewers all around the world noticed the beauty of it and finally, the world's eyes noticed how Africa is serious about its fashion and is in the rise.