South African Fashion’s New Wave
According to an article on the Wall Street Journal, a new generation of designers is making the country’s fashion industry into a powerhouse of creativity and chic.
Fashion in Africa is often reduced to stereotypes, such as wax prints and beaded necklaces. It’s also rarely separated by nation. Instead, the continent’s 54 vastly different countries get clumped into one “African fashion.” But in South Africa, there’s a new wave of designers challenging these preconceptions and finding their place in the global fashion industry, with their own e-commerce sites and online retailers such as 24S and Koibird allowing them a wider distribution than local sales. “The digital age and social media have put the power back in the hands of the makers,” says Johannesburg-based designer Tiaan Nagel, 37, who after getting his start in 2007 has been an influential force in South African fashion.