As a style journalist for over ten years, I’ve made it my business to scour the world in search of fresh and innovative fashion. And since launching ARISE, I’ve honed my sights on Africa.
The position has afforded me an unparalleled opportunity to travel around the continent meeting designers and going behind the scenes of what is fast becoming an influential and meaningful industry.
Whereas previously Africa was only seen as a source of anthropological inspiration for international brands, now its homegrown talents are standing up and being counted too and riding the wave of interest in Africa’s broader cultural and economic ascension.
Established names such as Duro Olowu in London, Xuly Bët in Paris, Kofi Ansah in Ghana, Jewel By Lisa in Lagos and Marianne Fassler in Johannesburg are inspiring younger talents while more and more African fashion weeks, magazines, websites, boutiques and schools are blossoming.
I find it a hugely exciting field of fashion that is finally having its moment to shine.
“New African Fashion” is a celebration of this moment. The coffee table book charts the long history and reverence of adornment on the continent, heralds African fashion’s early pioneers and profiles the best designers, models and street style photographers prospering today.
Editor’s note: Helen Jennings is editor of ARISE, the London-based quarterly magazine dedicated to global African fashion, music, culture and society. ARISE launched in 2008 and is now sold in over 25 countries. Helen’s newly published book, “New African Fashion” gives a brief history of style and beauty from Africa and profiles the best contemporary designers, models and photographers working today.