According to Euromonitor, sub-Saharan Africa’s apparel and footwear market was reportedly worth an impressive $31 billion in 2015. Can we attribute our young population and access to technology to this success?
While touring Africa in 2013, Michelle Obama wore an elegant shirt from Nigerian designer Maki Oh and the world took notice. That was an endorsement of the existing talent that we possess and now the world is looking to us for fashion inspiration. Fashion design is more than just a hobby, it’s a viable industry and there’s growing appreciation for African print and patterns all over the world as local designers position themselves at the forefront of the inventions.
Africa has the youngest population in the world, with over 40% of its population between the ages of 15-24. Most of the millennials are highly educated, prefer urban areas and are technologically savvy. With this combination, they are exposed to the trends that are happening around the world. For many years, Africans have been influenced by Europe when it comes to fashion, but not anymore. Emerging designers are no longer spectators, but active players that are contributing to the innovation in the industry. They are able to market themselves through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as part of building their brand.
The fashion industry is gradually growing and making strides far beyond the continent and creating wealth along the way. Here’s how each country is benefiting from the fashion industry: