Monday, 16 January 2012

Oh.... Africa....

Being of Nigerian descent, I have seen the many beautiful African outfits that my mother, cousins, and aunts have worn over the years.  The striking colors and patterns captivated me as a child, and still do today.  Recently, Burberry decided to use African print for the summer line of clothing.  Here is my problem: Wearing African print is not just a trend; it is a way of life.  It is not something that will be here today and gone tomorrow.  And here’s the icing on the cake: Burberry added insult to injury by using only European models for the print ads.   As many successful African models as there are today such as Alek Wek, Oluchi Onweagba, and Nyasha Matonhodze who just got a big ad campaign with Louis Vuitton, they couldn’t use any of them?  

Kate Bosworth at the Burberry Body event in an African-inspired print dress. ‘The Burberry Prorsum dress’

And there are more companies exploiting our culture, in my opinion. There are so many talented African designers who are trying to break into the design industry and cannot get a break. And at the same time fashion houses like Burberry buy the material, usually Ankara for as cheap as £5 and sell the items at sky high prices... makes you think. 

See more pictures below....

When I see pictures in the media of celebrities wearing my native print I do feel prideful; do not get me wrong, I just feel like if people from Black African ethic groups can produce designs just as good then why shouldn't they be given more opportunities, after all it is their identities that are being borrowed.



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