The topic in discussion was "How journalists write about African Chic" following the commotion that Elle France caused with their article on African fashion.
Many points were raised and below is a summary.
- African fashion coverage is inaccurate.
- Blanket terms like ethnic/tribal, trivialise its complexity and originality. In essence, these terms are vague at best and fail to tell the story of African styles.
- Mainstream journalists don't seem to take the time to research about African fashion. Lots of education and proactivity is needed.
- Even more worrying is some African journalists copying the careless trend of writing about African chic. Once African writers take the matter more seriously and push for quality writing of the subject, then the rest will have no choice but to follow.
- We need to support those who get it right and are representing the real image of African chic. Publications like New African Woman, FAB magazine, Fashizblack, Ghubar etc and many bloggers are doing a great job.
- We need to challenge the status quo. We also need to write to fashion editors who get it wrong and fashion bloggers need to refuse to feature inaccurate articles on their blogs. This will also educate mainstream writers. African fashion is getting too big to ignore and they need to start to getting it right.
- The African fashion industry needs to develop good fashion critics to create glossaries in order to facilitate research.
So thats it! Thanks to all the participants and contributors. Stay tuned this coming Sunday at 2pm UK time for another dose of #talkafricafashion on Twitter. The topic is "Fashion seasons and how it affects business".
Follow me on Twitter if you want to take part in the discussion.
Until next time!