By Niyi Tabiti
In 2010 the African style industry moved up another level. Our designers and stylists just like the entertainers are gaining weights amongst their own people.Their brands are getting applauded with patronage here and there.
In South Africa, major cities such as Johannesburg (particularly Sandton), Durban and Capetown continue to play host to the world as top designers from converge at their various fashion weeks. This no doubt have enhanced the tourism potential of South Africa. I strongly believe that the structure of that country has helped a lot.
In East Africa, it was all about the Swaili Fashion week in Tanzania. It was a beautiful outing for the organizers. The event took place in November 2010. The event paraded designers of East Africa origin. The event was sponsored by Southern Sun, Origin Africa, East Africa Radio, USAID Compete and so on.
In West Africa, Lagos the style capital continue to bubble with the right connection. To me its the year of the fashion and style. There seems to be a wake up call amongst Nigerians to patronize their own thing. Before now, most people and event organisers would not think of engaging the services of a stylist but all that seems to have changed. celebrities need ’em more. Small shopping carnivals are also making progress in the country.
Everywhere you turn in Lagos, you see everyone trying trying to prove the ‘I am stylish’ point. It is good for the country, good for style workers and good for the economy.
As for me, I believe the style industry need designers of sellers of good clothes without you robbing the bank. That is the vision of Leila Fowler and we love her for that. The fashion designers should be more united. Instead of staging some kind of ‘mushroom’ fashion shows, they can come together and give us a worthwhile event. When you go to some fashion shows, you will me very disappointed that you left your home in the first place. Make up artist and magazine publishers need to brace up for the challenges of 2011.
What i hate most about the year? It was the quarrel between a female journalist and the organizer of an annual modelling event. The tension was unwarranted. I pray that it would be settled but the whole thing escalated when people started dabbling into it.