Kitenge & Kikoy – colourful is not just colourful.
Looking closer at African Fashion and fabrics, one can find elements of animals, dots, inscriptions, and varies types of strips incorporated in the fabric. These may appear as random patterns but are often also traditionally rooted ways of communication. No wonder that the predominantly West African fabric Kitenge, is also considered to be a, “Communication Textile “, expressing colours, patterns, writings, and symbols. In traditional East African Swahili Culture though Kikoy fabric is predominant. The tightly woven cotton was traditionally used as a wrap skirt by fishermen, who also used Kikoy to protect themselves from fishing nets. More elegant versions were used for traditional festive activities. The typical patterns are an expression of culture and traditional way of living.
African Fashion today – tradition meets present.
The fabrics and designs non-Africans would simply consider as colourful are therefore more than just that. They are part of African history and identity. They tell the stories of various African traditions of this huge and vast continent. This might be one reason African Fashion is having a revival, especially amongst young Africans. This is not just because trends tend to repeat themselves but rather more because by combining African fabrics with western clothes like pants, one sets a statement. “This is our Africa today”. We are living the dialog between tradition and present. In that sense Fashion revival is also a kind of Fashion Revolution, expressing new self-awareness.
Africulture – african fashion made for today!
It is not just Africa, all over the international Fashion World, African inspired Fashion is currently trending. A couple of years ago it might have just been a small variety of ethnic inspired T-Shirts enhancing the summer experience but as the British journalist Helen Jennings had predicted in her book “New African Fashion”, published in 2011, African designs have long become an indispensable part of the modern-day Fashion dictionary. African inspired Fashion shows are no longer only present within Africa but also within Europe and the US. African designers, male and female, present modern, sustainable, and vibrant looks that incorporate the DNA of modern Africa and the same time can be worn and are worn increasingly all over the world. We at Africulture are thrilled to be a part of this Fashion Revolution and aim to show that with our designs something wonderful and new can arise when borders dissolve within the fashion world and separation ends. This is the spirit of the African Fashion we aim to create: diverse and tolerant. A Fashion that expresses that different styles and materials can easily and smoothly be transformed into a new look that combines African Tradition with modern clothing. That is who we are – that is Africulture.