East met Africa at the African Fashion International (AFI) fashion week, which wrapped up in Johannesburg, South Africa, last Sunday.
A fusion of fashion featured on the catwalk this year, as designers were invited to display their Spring/Summer collections under the theme #AfroAsia.
For some that meant a chance to proclaim pride in African culture. Designer Siphosihle Masango took his inspiration from Nigeria.
I mean I took inspiration from Nigeria. Nigerians are so brass about their proud African-ness, about the way their just so unapologetic and I'm like this is the Africa we need to be living in. Just be unapologetically African so that if I'm in New York, if I'm in London, if I'm anywhere they need to know that I'm from
“I mean I took inspiration from Nigeria. Nigerians are so brass about their proud African-ness, about the way their just so unapologetic and I’m like this is the Africa we need to be living in. Just be unapologetically African so that if I’m in New York, if I’m in London, if I’m anywhere they need to know that I’m from Africa,” said Siphosihle Masango.
One of the highlights of the event was the sold-out show Maxhosa by Laduma. The South African designer, Laduma Ngxokolo said his collection paid homage to other cultures including Swati, Zulu and a sprinkling of Scottish.
“As you could see from the show we’ve borrowed from the Scottish, we’ve borrowed from the Swati, we’ve borrowed from the Zulu but in an absent way by not making it obvious. Of course we still work with our Maxhosa signature print but I’m trying by all means to celebrate other cultures outside of the Xhosa people. We’re proud to be Xhosa but don’t look down on other cultures as well. So, that was the statement I was trying to project to the public.”
Designers from Asian countries including Chin a, Cambodia and Japan were also on show to match this year’s theme.
The African Fashion International fashion week which aims to boost designers’ experience on international fashion platforms, took place in Johannesburgb from October 4-7.