African fashion inroads

he Ghanaian TV show An African City is familiar to many TV fans, having a dedicated following in Africa and beyond. It is becoming a phenomenon overseas, being dubbed by the New York Times as ‘the African version of Sex and the City.”’
The show follows five young and successful women, each with their own distinctive personality and wardrobe choices, trying to make a name for themselves in Accra. Its first two series debuted on YouTube, but now the US television giant Netflix has bought the rights to future series, which will surely spread African designs to an even bigger audience.

The show’s success indicates the potential for African TV and fashion to reach the global market. The executive producer of An African City, Millie Monyo, explains that the outfits on screen are 100 percent from African designers, including Christie Brown, Afrodesiac and Chemphe Bre. This was a conscious decision to promote the continent’s most talented tailors.

The show is already said to be making waves in global fashion trends. European fashion houses such as Gucci and Lanvin, as well as American designers such as Diane von Furstenberg and Gap, have been taking up African styles on the catwalk, attributed in part to the influence of An African City.

Keen fashion fans can expect more to come from African fashion brands. An increasing number of catwalks on the continent and beyond are spotlighting the talent of local designers. The African Union is getting into the fashion spirit by holding an Africa Fashion Reception in September, under the title ‘Africa is the New Inspiration of Global Fashion.’ It’s an exciting time for the continent’s fashion and TV fans alike.

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