AFRICA TO WEAR

Vlisco3

From the expanses of savannah to the catwalks of the world. Today, the fashion made in Africa and inspired by the traditions, completely ethical and sustainable, it is increasingly fashionable. And it is a source of inspiration for music and photography here is how:

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Where trends are born? This is the question that people who work in fashion arises daily. There are those who favors big cities, those who think they are born directly in the studio, or those who speak of “alchemy against the grain”, leading the way and the common people as the true origin of trends and fashions. Not only that. Thanks to globalization, and the ability to reach virtually the other side of the world in an instant, even those countries currently excluded from the creative process because they are too far away or tied in a difficult socio-political situation, have proved a source of inspiration ever original, and topping the charts there is no doubt Africa.

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A huge continent of over 30 million square kilometers, multi-faceted, with a history often difficult and dramatic; a mysterious place, and therefore irresistible. And now it is here that creative people are left.

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WATCH THE TREND

One of the first designers to bring the catwalk a collection inspired by the Dark Continent was Lamine Badian Kouyaté, better known by its brand name, Xuly Bet, which in Wolof, the Senegalese language, means “keep an open mind.” After living in Paris and studying at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture in Strasbourg in 1989 launched his own collection, very “open minded” and innovative: its ability to recycle fabrics found in flea markets and in turn colorful patchwork is winning. He is inspired by the great couturiers such as Azzedine Alaia and Yves Saint Laurent, combining materials and colors of contemporary Africa, not to mention the seventies punk rock and funk. The result is a mini-dresses with colorful wax fabric and leather, hand embroidery and volumes emphasized. Everything, for the first time, is developed and produced in an ethical and sustainable embroidery on jackets and painted fabrics, for example, are commissioned to African women in exchange for a fair wage and decent working conditions. No one before him had done.

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It is this sensitivity to certain customs that came back to get noticed on the runway, pushed by his growing success in music and photography: shooting Koen Hauser in “The Hommage a l’Art” (2013), for example, are a celebration of African fashion, and have been around the world. They were created to celebrate one of the leading manufacturers of fabrics wax in the industry, Vlisco has always been committed to supporting African designers: to do so regularly organizes courses in tailoring for women Ghanaian, Nigerian finance the most talented designers and the sponsor of two of the most important events of the style “Made in Africa”: the Nairobi Fashion Week and the Lagos Fashion and Design Week (the latter was also a guest of Pitti Immagine W in 2012). At the same time there is also the work of songwriters such as folk artist Imany, now popular all over the world, who in the show never abandons his turban typical of the Comoros islands.

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