Outside of the continent of Africa, people often confuse the motherland as one country. In movies we often see Africa portrayed as this desolate land whose people need saving. In the States, Africa is portrayed as a continent suffering from famine, civil wars, terrorist violence, and ‘incivility’.
Rest assured that these notions are not only closed-minded and problematic, but absolutely do not represent all the beauty, liveliness, and thriving cultures that encompass all that Africa is. Colonialism did a hell of a lot of damage, and yet Mother Africa is still here today, even more progressive than other major leading countries with regards to politics, and social innovation!
Yes, some nations throughout Africa do have their trials, civil disputes, as well as need further structural developments, clean accessible natural and basic resources, and financial stability. However, there are many cities that have leveled up and grown in politics, culture and expansionism on a global front.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to even go to these countries to explore all these wonders for yourself.
In terms of social African culture, we’re going to look at some of the best fashion hubs in various countries that deliver in African creativity and authentic cultural expression!
Lagos is a continually growing city that hosts African Fashion Week in partnership with MTN. Lagos is known for its heavy Nigerian hip hop influences, and dance scene, but this nation has built a successful and reputable name for itself on the international fashion stage.
With thriving music, dance, and art festivals such as Lagos’ Black Heritage Festival, there a multitude of ways to thoroughly embrace the sense of Black and African identity in this city!
Although fairly recent, African Fashion Week in Lagos allows fresh new designers, photographers, and writers to step into this new alternative in the industry. These designers bring forth some contemporary styles with modern-day African flair that is distinct and appealing!
Taking a trip here for a shopping spree after witnessing some awesome summer collections is definitely the move once the virus crisis ends!
Dakar has done an excellent job of decolonizing their culture and thoroughly embracing everything that makes their city black as can be.
In addition to their gorgeous shores, stunning architecture(colonial and modern), Dakar has opened up the seamstress industry with businesses and entrepreneurs dabbling in dazzling African print and vibrant color patterns unlike any other!
The notorious Sengalnese boubous have slowly become a national identifier for the trade and recreational culture of Dakar. With a steady rise in a neon shimmering nightclub scene, amazing jewelry and other accessories wear have also grown to a substantial appeal.
This allowing younger artists, designers, and jewelry makers to extend their products to their local community while also given opportunities to present their work on the global fashion stage.
Dakar’s stance amidst other political, systematic, and civil violence in other neighboring nations has proven to be essential to how artists portray their connection to the nation in their work. This would be a phenomenal city to experience and buy a lovely pastel suit or thick bracelet!
No, we’re not talking about the movie. Casablanca is more than an old aged whitewashed film.
Alongside the out of this world architecture of the entire nation, Casablanca stands apart and has aided in putting Kaftan Haute Couture on the map. All the whimsical long gowns and embroidered dresses that have been added to the Boho look in the United States, hold major influences from the streetwear of Casablanca.
Most people view the country of Morocco itself as an otherworldly Middle Eastern nation, but sorry to break it to you, Morocco is apart of the Motherland! And in this nation, any lucky visitor can count on excellent cuisine, and heavily Arab influenced styles!
We’re talking bold two pieces outfits, more female designers, models, and showrunners that add a unique layer of eye candy and tradition to their collections! Casablanca is stunning and a true hidden gem for a fashion hub in Africa.
There is a multitude of other brilliant bright-eyed cities and countries littered throughout Africa. And these places are growing, gaining traction, and inspiring many new and old faces alike to join the fashion industry! These were just a few. Let us know what some of your favorite outfits or designers are in the comments!