LONDON — The influence of Africa and its fashion scene has redefined the geography of the fashion industry in recent years, breaking barriers with its vitality and its reimagining of what creativity can be.
A continent whose fashion has often been imitated, yet gone largely underrecognized by the West, is having a long overdue moment in the spotlight. Magazine editors and stylists like Edward Enninful and Ibrahim Kamara, have helped spur its celebration, along with critically acclaimed explorations of the African diaspora by designers like Grace Wales Bonner and the late Virgil Abloh. The emergence of a new generation of homegrown designers like Thebe Magugu, Mowalola Ogunlesi and Kenneth Ize has also been key.
Last week, at a time when many museums with colonial legacies are re-evaluating representation in their Eurocentric collections, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London opened a vibrant exhibition showcasing African fashion and textiles, the first in its 170 year history.