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Destination Africa: The Future of Fashion



New York, London, Milan and Paris may still be the world’s fashion capitals but as with anything style related, trends emerge and things change. Furthermore, people and critically, businesses are following the shift in the air: Announcing Lagos, Johannesburg, Dakar and Nairobi; the juggernauts of the African continent and rising stars for the industry in the world.

Considering African cities as global fashion capitals is not as fantastical as it may have been even a decade or more ago: on a number of indices the aforementioned four and other African urban centres have proven themselves to be unparalleled incubators for fashion and design, nexuses for the creative visual arts and most pertinent of all for sustainable growth, financial and commercial hubs. Indeed in a recent Forbes Magazine study of most influential cities in the world Johannesburg, Cape Town and Lagos found themselves on the list, and this too is reflected in their dominance of the fashion industry in Africa. However, also of critical importance is how Africa is perceived and its goods and services received in the global fashion context and it is for this reason the work of Style House Files (SHF) and its flagship event, Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW) cannot be underestimated.

Speaking to Omoyemi Akerele, CEO of SHF and founder of LFDW it becomes clear that creating both a platform and setting an agenda that posits African fashion as every bit as desirable has not been an easy task: “Africa is diverse and dynamic in terms of culture, historical references and commercial viability but the fashion and apparel sector within Africa is still often met with a degree of uncertainty and fascination”…

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