Monday, 15 July 2013

Africa Prints - The Future is Africa

Why is this important?Working in Africa has received a lot of attention recently. A World Bank blog recently asked: has Africa outgrown aid? It suggested that “…aid will be increasingly about transferring knowledge rather than money … know-how and skills will be the name of the game”.

What does this mean for apparel? Well, for SOKO, this meant understanding the importance of using professional and personal networks for starting up a business and for building up in-house ‘knowledge’ in core competencies and skills, especially in inculcating a good understanding of what is fashionable, how to produce a fashion product, and how think like a fashion buyer.

The year 2011 brought a re-emergence of African motifs, prints and textiles onto the global stage. Fashion houses and designers such as Burberry and Vivian Westwood produced collections clearly influenced by the various cultures and landscapes found in Africa. Even the internationally most recognisable First Lady, Michelle Obama, was spotted and photographed on numerous occasions sporting the African-influenced designs of Nigerian designer Duro Oluwa.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter wear traditional Ghanaian attire, a gift from the chief of Tingoli village in northern Ghana, where The Carter Center, in partnership with Ghana's Ministry of Health, is working to eradicate Guinea worm disease and eliminate trachoma. The Carters visited the village Feb. 8, 2007, as part of a two-week health tour of remote African villages.