Centuries ago, explorers flocked to the wild continent of Africa in search of adventures, new discoveries and treasures. Countless men risked their lives and travelled to this unknown world upon hearing rumours of gold, beautiful women, strange wildlife roaming the vast plains and many more such tales. What they found would inspire and intrigue the world for centuries to come. And still does, to this day.
Africa has been explored, ploughed over and colonised from Cape to Cairo but still she has kept her culture strong, her personality shines through stronger than ever.
These days, travellers use the Internet and social media platforms to discover this still unknown continent. And still they are intrigued, fascinated and sometimes somewhat confused by what they see. But nevertheless, they come back; looking for more, mining for inspiration and hidden treasures. And boy, is this land rich with gold! We have so much to offer, so much energy, passion and creativity to inspire the rest of the world. And you know what, we’re really being noticed. Thanks to the World Wide Web (I don’t think anyone has called it that since the nineties), Africa is spreading to the rest of the world.
Not only have we seen design houses like Louis Vuitton use the vibrant Maasai fabric, we also have designer David Tlale to be proud of, as he has become a regular at New York Fashion Week. But what really got me excited was when Tony Gum, a young South African stylist, was featured on Vogue.com. I mean seriously, does it get any cooler?! People are finally noticing everyday Africans (Tony Gum is not everyday, she’s sensational!), doing their own thing in their own unique way says to me that the world is ready for us. And we don’t have to hold back or shy away just because some major fashion authority hasn’t recognised us yet as being special. Cause we are special, dammit.
So people ask me, what’s the next big thing in fashion? It’s Africa. Loud and proud and colourful and vibrant and joyous. Here we come, World. You better be ready!
Tony Gum link:
Author | Annamé Kleynscheldt