The exhibition showcases the vibrant and multifaceted fashion scenes in four major African cities:
Casablanca (Morocco), Johannesburg (South Africa), Nairobi (Kenya) and Lagos (Nigeria).
Numerous fashion designers, bloggers and stylists have won a global following on social media, inspiring fashionistas worldwide with their designs, photos and videos.
On show is the work of leading fashion designers such as Said Mahrouf (Casablanca), Marianne Fassler (Johannesburg) and Maki Oh from Lagos, who lists the former First Lady Michelle Obama among her clients. Fashion bloggers and journalists such as Sunny Dolat (Nairobi) and Joseph Ouechen (Casablanca) created their own presentations to showcase their vision on fashion in Africa.
From streetwear to couture and from experimental to low-key: through fashion, wearers, makers and cognoscenti express their identity, personal style and background. Often it’s linked to the city where they live – the city that holds up a mirror to them. The exhibition plunges the visitor into the vibrant and varied fashion scenes that are shaking up the world of fashion. Fashion items, personal accounts, blogs, photos and films combine in a swirling spectacle of trends.
Myriad influences from Europe, Africa and the Middle East come together in Casablanca contributing to a varied range of looks with haute couture and ready-to-wear, classic tailoring and streetwear. Designers and stylists looking to make their mark within this diversity of styles often turn to local cultural traditions for inspiration, working together with local clothing and textile manufacturers to realise their creations.
Other lovers of fashion choose rather to opt for more international styles to create their street style or exclusive designs. Or they combine these with local elements to fashion an individual look.
- Mouna Belgrini (journalist) - Said Mahrouf (designer) - Amina Agueznay (textile designer) -
Following decades of economic decline, Johannesburg has slowly but surely transformed into a vibrant metropolis, where fashion, music and art are an intrinsic part of the street scene. Neighbourhoods like Newtown, Braamfontein and Maboneng constitute the heart of the urban fashion scene and are breeding grounds for innovation.
Because of the country’s political history and its effect on contemporary society, the work of many ‘Jo’burg’ creatives communicates a social awareness – either directly or more subtly. Through fashion they tell their own stories, of equality and pride.
- The Sartists (creative collective) - Marianne Fassler (designer) - Thula Sindi (designer) - Maria McCloy (designer) -
A new generation of Kenyan designers, stylists and entrepreneurs has significantly professionalized Nairobi’s fashion sector. But at the same time, shopping for mitumba – vintage western clothing – at one of the city’s many markets is also an intrinsic part of Nairobi’s fashion scene.
Online fashion videos and fashion photos on blogs and other social media are much-used ways of promoting the city’s creative talent nationally and across the world. Public figures such as Kenyan pop stars also do their bit by opting for creations by young designers.
- 2ManySiblings (stylists) – Sauti Sol (band) - The Nest Collective (creative collective) -
The Nigerian capital is home to Africa’s most established fashion industry and many Nigerian designers sell their creations all over the world. Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Alek Wek and other influential women wear labels like Maki Oh and Lanre da Silva Ajayi.
The prestigious Lagos Fashion and Design Week has contributed significantly to this success. Lagos is confidently on course to become one of the world’s major new fashion capitals.
- Maki Oh (designer) -Deola Sagoe (designer) - Yegwa Ukpo (owner of Stranger) -
Africa in the Netherlands
For this exhibition, the Tropenmuseum sought out Dutch experts who incorporate their African roots into their designs: Daily Paper, Karim Adduchi, Lady Africa, Doru Komonoteng Loboka and Nsimba Valena Lontanga. In Fashion Cities Africa they share their inspiration, way of working and designing.
Fashion Cities Africa Weekend
On 7 and 8 October the Tropenmuseum will be buzzing with creativity. Well-known designers will be giving masterclasses specially for Fashion Cities Africa and visitors can also take part in various workshops and tours. For the full programme, go to tropenmuseum.nl.
Made possible by
Exhibition Design by NLÉ / Kunlé Adeyemi. Fashion Cities Africa is organised in collaboration with Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove, with sponsorship by BankGiro Loterij, VSBfonds and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.
Noot voor redactie
For more information, please contact Mick Groeneveld, PR Tropenmuseum. E firstname.lastname@example.org / T 088 0042839.
Photographic material accompanying this press release may be used free of rights in relation to these exhibitions.