From major international events such as the Brexit vote (yes Brexit had a major impact on fashion) and Donald Trump’s election, to award ceremonies, fashion shows, the growing use of African fashion in music videos, and the passing of a global fashion icon, the 2016 fashion industry has seen many highs and lows. Care to take a walk down memory lane?

2016

The global fashion industry was thrown into a state of chaos and uncertainty when the U.K. voted in favor of Brexit. Why? To sum it up it’s because the fashion industry is a VERY global and mobile one. The UK relies on interns, manufacturers, contractors, designers etc from all over the EU and other parts of the world. For Africa, this would mean barriers to our exports of footwear, fabrics, apparel etc. For more on the impacts of Brexit on fashion, see this article by elle.com. Similarly, one of the major concerns about the outcome of the US presidential election was the impact of Trump’s proposed policies on the global fashion supply chain.

However despite all the shocks that faced the general industry, there were several great and memorable stylish moments this year.

Afua Rida in a stunning Christie Brown grown
Beyoncé in a gorgeous Selly Raby Kane kimono

DPiper twins Fall/Winter collection

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Caesar Couture’s classic collection
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Totally Ethnik’s Dolce Vita collection
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The fun loving and stylish designer, Rose Palhares

And let’s not forget Beyoncé’s internet breaking moments with her African inspired music videos. Her visual album “lemonade” was an ode to women, African culture and black empowerment.

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Beyonce in Nefertiti-inspired hair
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Backup dancers in African print costumes
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Kenyan Masai necklace

Other celebrities celebrated African style in their music videos as well.

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Andrea Iyama swimsuit in “Little Bit More video”

Fashion industry professionals grabbed opportunities to put Africa at the forefront of the global fashion stage…

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Some African supermodels strutting their stuff at this years Victoria’s Secret fashion show
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Sekayi Fundafunda at BOF Voices event in London

Sekayi, of MaFashio, was chosen as one of the 10 breakthrough fashion talents for the Business of Fashion’s “Future Voices” competition. This is an amazing feat considering that there were hundreds of applicants globally and Sekayi was the only African winner. BOF Voices enables the winners access to global talents, opportunities and big thinkers in the industry.

Finally, we closed the year with the unfortunate passing of Franca Sozzani (Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief). For almost 3 decades, Sozzani led the Italian powerhouse and supported many African brands in their rise to global domination. Because of her work with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, brands such as Studio 189, Christie Brown, Ameyo, Duaba Serwa, Orange Culture and others gained priceless mentorship and opportunities to showcase their brands and sell in Milan, London and New York. RIP to a legend.

2016 has been full of achievements yet has been a tough and unforgettable year for Africa and the global fashion industry. But I have hope that even greater things are ahead for the fashion industry. The same way the music industry managed to survive the internet streaming revolution that almost crippled it, is the same way the fashion industry will survive all the uncertainty it faced this past year and even exceed its current successes.

So here’s to the year ahead. May 2017 be filled with greater leaps forward, better opportunities and continuous growth!


Pictures in header image are from styledbyrida.com, Dpipertwins.com, Ara Kani and Caesar Couture.

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13 replies on “2016 Highlights: The good, the bad and the uncertain

  1. I absolutely loved this piece Elorm! African Fashion was this year’s major addition to world wide pop culture! So sad about the Brexit vote 😦 but all in all, it was an extraordinary year for African Fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article dear… I am all for promoting African fashion. Although I am loving beyonce’es look as well, but back to african talents I recently wrote about an african designer on my blog… And I was thinking, maybe “We african Fashion bloggers” can join hands and make happen a Style Summit Africa. Kindly email me I share with you my idea in full.

    Kisses.
    http://www.rshanphonsi.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great reflection piece hon, really well written article. Wow 2016, I get that everything in life must have its ups and downs but I for one am so happy to give this year Da Boot!
    But back to fashion, its great to see the steps in which African fashion is going global and the peeps making it so.
    Have a merry Crimbo hon! ((( :

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. I’m SO ready to begin the new year. 2016 was crazy but it taught me a lot. I also can’t wait to head over to your blog and catch up. I’ve been waiting to binge read lol. Merry Christmas!

      Like

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