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Rich African cultural heritage inspires fashion designers
Aug '13
Creation of Liz Ogumbo
Creation of Liz Ogumbo
Africa is a continent with rich cultural heritage and skilled textile workers but fashion has just emerged in the region. According to some African fashion designers, the culture and tradition in the region were the biggest inspiration for them to join the fashion world.

In an interview with fibre2fashion, Olivia Kennaway, co-designer of Lalesso fashion brand, known for its use of the East-African Kanga in creating chic resort summer clothing, said, “Africa is embalmed in a kind of African renaissance at the moment and it is an inspiration in itself.”

“Africa’s diversity is ever evolving and even though it is the oldest land on this earth it is inventing some of the newest ideals. In the same way that ancient culture still exists, we are seeing brand new cultures rising for the very first time,” she says.

Kenyan fashion designer Liz Ogumbo, who has launched her own clothing brand after spending about 14 years within the fashion industry, says that African culture and tradition has been the inspiration for her entry in the fashion industry.

“Africa is the hub of art. The musical space (both vocal and instrumental), fabric, earth that produces clay for pottery, grass for the artifacts, beads created out of wood, mud, glass, precious stones etc., establish a space for creative works and I have got my inspiration from the region,” she mentions.

Eritrean (East Africa) designer Admas Mahdere, head of Admas fashion brand which represents Eritrean and Ethiopian culture with a modern twist, says, “My Eritrean heritage is definitely at the core of my inspiration to enter into the fashion industry.”

“I had a desire from a young age to experiment with African traditional fabrics and create my own unique collection,” she mentions.

Talking about the significance of fabrics made in Africa, she says, “The fabrics are manufactured with handmade cotton and silk by weavers who have passed it down from generation to generation.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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