Thursday, December 1, 2011


Please forgive me for going back to this question again. I know we've discussed this over twitter over and over again. Yesterday I was checking one of my fave facebook page I wear African and came upon the discussion about Burberry using African print. I wanted to share a few comments left at the discussion and them perhaps share mine . The question was the following: Do you think designer brand Burberry's afrocentric 2012 resort collection is hot or not ?

"What defines Afrocentric in regards to fashion? I've always known afrocentricity to represent a value system, in clothes it seems to just be surface based depiction, reminiscent of previous cultural clothing ideas and traditions... " Zaieda
Fashion and culture are Representative of two different things. Fashion is worn and removed, while culture is lived, taught, and passed to generations with pride. Your line represents a royal people that culturally represent themselves with honor, whether Vogue says it's "IN" or THAT is hot! Rose
"Once again, following the leaders. Seems they have no idea when it comes to choosing decent prints. I have seen a better collection when walking down the street in Accra. Each dress is original and not mass produced. At Burberry prices, I wouldn't want to go to an event and see the same dress on someone else. We have some great designers in Africa and we have some great individual seamstresses and tailors, who can make you look like you just stepped out of FASHION WEEK! " Amina
"The big issue is that when these mass marketers use "specialty" fabrics, they can control its viability in the next season. By deciding it is "in" this season, it will be "out" next season. Everyone knows the Burberry plaid and I am sure many of you wear it, year after year. The I Wear Africa movement is important because it will keep the control of African influence in the hands of African and African American producers of international style. Let anyone enjoy the cultural influences of Africa and other countries, but let us not allow it to be considered a "passing fad"! I have been wearing Africa for 40 years (and Europe too!)" Seyar
"I actually think they r hot, I mean I do not like all of them but that is just a personal style issue " Amii
When I lived in France, people use to qualify a non-suitable-too-large-and-without-shape-piece of clothe a "boubou" (negative). So I agree the pictures (and the dull models) are not letting the African spirit pass through but I think it's a very good start for African culture acceptation in western countries and I like some of the dresses :)  Arianne

Ok then !!! from what I see most the comments are negative ones. My response to the question is yes the collection is kind of hot. I am going to side with Amii , yes its just a personal issues. We as Africans take the use of African print very seriously. But let's be real for a second before we've seen stars wearing the prints when was the last time you wore prints to go an interview or even a cocktail party. I remember when I was young wearing print was the last thing to do. I used to dream about the day I would came to the US and shop in all the fancy stores. Its only when I came here that I understood the importance of wearing something that represented me as a person. We love the prints and cherish them but we don't make it therefore anyone is more than welcome to use it. I want us to move on from this issue. If you don't want to buy African prints made by western designers then don't. I know I can't afford them anyways.

Talk is cheap. How are we going to make a change?  What are your thoughts ? I know some of you are going to be harsh on me but its all bananas. I love this type of discussion. 


  1. Our style and the style of indigenous people every where has been copied for centuries and I seriously doubt if anything will change especially if other folks can capitalize off of something that we think isn't sophisticated enough. Global Fusionist has an intersting blog post on the same subject.

  2. In General, Western Designers are really smart, when they see trend, they smell money and catch on to it, Many African designers just werent aware how valuable 'the African print' is most of them were a bit modernish with their material until they woke up to see Western Designers making the dough from it. I personally think its Genius of them to catch onto em so fast. Many designers have incorporated African print or endowed their whole collections on them, theres nothing wrong with that, Designers look for inspiration everywhere from Japanese Kimonos to Old French 19ths Century Gowns...Fashion is a global and Burbery using African print is just more proof of it. However, that picture just didnt sel it tho

  3. You are so right !! I so over this so called issue.

  4. I just like how african print are becoming more incorporated into fashion today--I just wish African designers will have exposure.



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