Diane Alter – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter
Nairobi, Kenya (4E) – Africa is making a name for itself in the fashion world.
The continent, most often in the news for its political conflicts, widespread hunger and AIDS-infected population, is now making headlines in the fashion arena for the excellence of its intricate handiwork, singular artistic creativity and its potential for truly thrusting the nation into vogue.
Global fashion designers and editors are attempting to rebrand Africa, highlighting the vast and lush landscape of the continent by underscoring striking images of its beauty and grace far removed from Africa’s well known and recurring violence and heartbreaking poverty.
A global campaign dubbed Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion4DEveloment, a promotion that uses fashion-based initiatives to support the United Nations’ wider issues in helping Africa, aims to dispel the notion that rebranding Africa via fashion is a gimmick, or that it might rest awkwardly beside deep-set issues social issues.
May Umo Vogue is an all-Africa magazine that features in its latest issue the beauty of Africa, its unique people, its creative fashions and its growing allure as a tourist destination.
The surfacing of Africa as a source of fashion creativity and trend stretches far beyond elegant and singular images.
The New York Times ran a recent piece about Africa’s new and applauded presence in the fashion area.
The continent’s extraordinary craft work, which vastly differs between its myriad countries and specific tribes, presents to a cynical fashion world objects that have been made with human hands, which fashion experts deem one of the greatest luxuries in a rushed, machine-made 21st century world.