The undoing for African designers is the lack of quality control on that garment to turn it into a finished product. For this reason their products when put on the mainstream market, can not match the competition from the established brands. Recently major brands have taken to using African inspired batiks and print, and have successfully sold to their customers, whereas the African designers are struggling to make sales outside their community.
Do you go for dinner or Red carpet wearing a dress from the African continent?
Chances are that you will say, ‘No.’ There are various reasons for this as African designers are faced with a multitude of challenges when attempting to enter the international fashion industry and hence struggle to make an impact on global fashion.
Firstly, there is the perception that African fashion is a type of curio fashion. Something that you buy at the end of a Safari trip like a printed a-line skirt, a kaftan or a Zulu hat. The fact of the matter is that this massive continent has no reason to step back when it comes to variety of styles, design talent or contemporary application of world fashion trends.
The good news.!
With the world ever shrinking, opportunities arise daily for designers to explore new markets and to put their goods “out there” through the use of social media and online stores. African designers have lots of opportunities to create highly successful businesses.