HOW WAS AFRICAN PRINTS IN FASHION BORN?
YORK GIRL, A GERMAN GIRL AND A GHANAIAN GIRL?
I created my APiF blog about 3 years ago. I saw Africa-inspired designs popping-up everywhere but I didn’t know any designers of African heritage besides Ozwald Boateng. I had no insight into what was happening regarding fashion on the continent.
Oh my, that is impossible. Everyone everywhere is an individual. Your surroundings can inspire and influence you, but if you have a fashion sense, are confident and like to mix it up it really doesn’t matter where you live or where you come from – you can be a fashionista.
I felt an urge to discover how the African Diaspora is not just inspiring but also participating in the Fashion industry and so African Prints in Fashion was born. The tag line of my blog is “Following the Imprints of the African Diaspora on Fashion”.
I FEEL LIKE WE WOKE UP ONE DAY AND AFRICAN PRINTS WERE TRENDING, HOW DID THE EVOLUTION OCCUR? Celebrities and fashion icons like Beyoncé and Gwen Stefani started to wear prints. Burberry Prorsum launched their Ankara collection and suddenly everyone talked about it and brands started their own spin on Africa-inspired collections. And this wave gave more visibility to designers from the continent and the diaspora.
CAN YOU CONTRAST THE FASHION STYLES OF A NEW
I am German-Ghanaian and I live in NYC and I don’t think that my style represents any of these cultures specifically. I just use my heritage and my surroundings as an inspiration. I often chase someone down the street to ask them where they got their top or dress from. Or I see something online and thing “cool, I need to try that combination out next time”. Everyone takes their individual spin on fashion which makes it interesting!
“ In my opinion what differentiates African designers is their story.
DO YOU BLOG FULL-TIME AND HOW SUSTAINABLE IS BLOGGING AS A FULL-TIME JOB OR CAN IT ONLY BE PART-TIME? I don’t blog fulltime yet. I work as Marketing Director for an IT company by day and I blog at night and at the weekends. This set-up can be stressful at times but I like it that way. I am also offering marketing consulting to emerging designers and just founded African Prints in Fashion LLC and will start creating and selling bags and tees. So eventually down the line I hope to be able to focus on blogging full-time.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU THINK REPRESENTS AFRICAN FASHION APART FROM PRINT FABRICS? Many designers actually don’t even use prints literally anymore. They might create a one-off print-inspired Resort collection or use the print as inspiration and take it somewhere else or create their own prints. In my opinion what differentiates African designers is their story. Some designers weave their culture and heritage into their designs.