Digital media has seeped into fashion as well and has become expedient in the development of the African Fashion industry
By Tamara Ncala
For as long as I can remember, fashion has always played a big role in my identity and self-expression. I grew up exploring different styles from being a Tomboy dressing up like Aaliyah to the exploration of punk and goth styles to a more diverse style that wavers between elegance and badgalriri. As African fashion became more and more visible, I began exploring different patterns and appreciated all the fashion diversity Africa has to offer.
The advancement of technology has created a shift in the representation of African fashion and its visibility in the industry. Through mass and digital media, the African fashion industry has captured the attention of the world and everyone wants a taste of what we have to offer.
Digital media has become an essential accessory to the development of the African fashion industry as every brand is capable of representing themselves on social media. Through this, they are also able to connect with their customers in a way that they never had before. Consumers have now become the biggest part of advertising these brands through user-generated content (word of mouth) that has become so much easier to share.
For African bloggers and influencers, these advancements have also created platforms for career developments in terms of reviews, opinions pieces, sponsorship and so forth. Brands not only share their fashion, but they also pay attention to influencers and trendsetters who direct consumers to feed into what’s next and what’s trending.
The growth of influencers has initiated the breakdown in marketing hierarchies, challenging the norm of the roles of people in fashion and media industries. It has created a more interactive creative space for fashion and I believe a result of this is represented in the rapid influence African fashion has had on the global fashion industry.
I have just started out my journey in exploring the influencer aspect of fashion and look forward to exploring what the diverse African Fashion has to offer. I look forward to the bigger roles fashion influencers like myself will continue to play in representing African oriented fashion to a global audience.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.