Thursday, February 16, 2012


Hello Fah-Schyon lovers! Just wanted to bring you a long overdue update on the Talk Africa Fashion discussion that took place 2 weekends ago and hosted by Chidubem (@lostintalent). See below her review...

Last Sunday, I got the opportunity to play host to the Talk Africa African (thank you @Brownschuga)

The topic of discussion, African seasons vs Western seasons. As we all know, most of the Western countries have four seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, & Africans have just two; Wet and Dry seasons (where the temperature doesn’t vary much).

The first question of the forum: How will African designers break into the Western industry with this weather difference? Should they (a) adopt the Western season system or (b) stick to pleasing the African weather system [everything else comes after] or (c) other.

Everyone had a varied opinion. Some thought, why should African designers put Western needs ahead of African needs? Others argued for business freedom, if designers choose to go four seasons then so be it! I agree with the latter, they may be African designers but that doesn’t mean that their target market is based in Africa or does it?

Marissa of Hint Magazine pointed out that “Cultural artefacts are a free-for-all these days, so who’s to slap geographical boundaries on them?”

The conversation soon broadened to how their choices could result in elimination of customers. And how to downsize issues, as it seems to be an unavoidable thing, while creating a brand identity. Surely they can’t please everyone?

The forum soon moved on to the basics of African fashion when @MalakhandSco raised the question: ‘What is African fashion?’

A toughie! It was concluded that African fashion is very difficult to define and subjective. But @MalakhandSco said they’d never equate African fashion to African fabric!

The beginning topic allowed us to cover such a wide range.


So there you have it. A short and very sweet summary of the discussion on the rising African industry. It is very true that to define "African fashion" is not an easy task and I know I wouldn't necessarily equate African fashion to African prints. The versatility and freedom of expression between the designers is a must to allow the industry to grow and survive.

Unfortunately last week's session to be hosted by moi was cancelled and postponed to this Sunday (19th Feb) at 2pm UK time on Twitter. Find me and follow me to take part in the show. Feel free to contact me to propose a topic to host.

Until then

No comments: