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Why African designers are successful today

SHARE   |   Thursday, 07 June 2018   |   By Fashion With Rorisang Ndlovu
Why African designers are successful today

Every day we are introduced to new products, deals and services. The online market today is saturated with endless options at different prices and in different places. Many businesses that have been established pre social media are competing with newer businesses and digital platforms. Whatever you provide has to solve a problem and be the best at it.

Science and technology has exposed us to various manners of being, socialising, expressing and surviving. We found a way to popularise and monetise our ideas and creations. These are vital tools of the present day to succeed whether it’s business or personal; tools that African creatives are using more and more each day.

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In most African nations dressmaking is seen as a primary skill. Something that can be taught easily and get better at with time. A lot of people learn dressmaking from the women in their households. If not, there are numerous training centres that one can learn in just a few months. In Africa, especially Botswana, you pay for the skill and never the artistic labour or value. Traditionally as Africans people in the community were valued from the skill they contributed, how useful and how necessary it was for the people. Everything abstract was of spirit and God that can never materialise. Appreciation of art through money is something they are still learning.

Social media in Africa has helped their creatives enrich their craft and expand their work’s value. It has shaped and moulded the view and images of seamstresses, tailors, designers and artists. Due to the accessibility of information many designers have curated stories behind their skills and developed it into a brand.

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International collaborators and customers have also helped in the growing successes of African designers today. The more in demand a designer is internationally, the more in demand a designer is locally, but it does not mean both markets can afford accordingly.

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The community of creatives in Africa is always growing. Designers like Orange Culture, Andrea Iyamah and David Tlale are proving that there’s more than enough room for our creativity and styles. The African imagination and way of being has birthed many inspiring looks and collections of the most praised designers of today.



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