The Beauty and Innovation of Afro-Fusion
I don’t know how many times we’ve mentioned this—probably over 50 times—but we truly believe African fashion will take over the world one day. Of course, we’re not saying women of Germany will start wearing geles to work, or Japanese men will walk through the grocery store with a cane, feather, and ivory horn. No, nothing like that, but we are hyper-aware of the steady impact African design has on the global fashion stage.
So let’s start by talking about fusions, as in the combination of African fashions with designs of other cultures — combining the two to make something greater than their original parts. Like Ankara prints, once used only for the most traditional settings, are now finding a resurgence in causal wear. Then there are traditions of other cultures intertwined with African fabric. And even a complete reappropriation of deep African traditions to make a beautiful fashion statement. It’s time to explore how African fashion is celebrated and enhances the parts it’s added to.
Serge Mouangue is a Paris-based artist/designer and was born in Yaounde, Cameroon. His creative practice combines studies in art, design, and architecture with professional experiences in exploratory design, innovation, and strategy. In the mid-2000’s Serge lived and worked in Japan, which inspired his beautiful new line of work, Wafrica, an African kimono that blends Japanese refinement and attention to detail with West African rhythmic density and vibration.
When asked to elaborate on the meaning of Wafrica, Serge responded with,
“Wafrica is a registered trademark, but it is not a fashion brand. It is a creative platform where you find different collections of kimonos, live performances, and a range of unique works of art that we create with our partners. The idea of combining West African and Japanese aesthetics is at the core of Wafrica. “Wa” is the old name for Japan and means harmony. With Wafrica, my aim is to move beyond the commercial sphere to create a movement or a phenomenon that draws people in and enables them to value diversity and see it as a real plus.”
Obinna Obioma + Wuraola Oladapo + Chioma Obiegbu
If you’ve been to an African store, market, or even an airport, you have probably seen these canvas bags. In Nigeria, these bags have a dark past. In 1983, Nigeria expelled two million undocumented West African migrants, half being from Ghana. The Ghanaians left, packing their belongings in these canvas bags, which unfortunately coined the derogatory name, "Ghana Must Go Bag.”
Fast forward to the present, where Obinna Obioma; the photographer, Wuraola Oladapo; the fashion stylist, and Chioma Obiegbu; the visual artist/designer, teamed up to create an amazing fashion statement to reappropriate that negative memory with a positive future. In their journey to turn these bags into high fashion, Obinna stated the bags have transcended their courier status and are used as a personified symbol of migration and are, “being used to carry not just belongings but also culture, heritage, and memories."
The final source of wonderful African fashion fusion is us, Inamunai. We have a fantastic collection of casual and formal African clothes, from traditional pieces to a casual western fusion. It’s kind of our specialty. Find your style in our collection of African skirts, or add a handmade African blue dress with pockets to your wardrobe. Add vibrant colors and patterns to your accessories with our Lekoni 5 Panel Cap, or look good staying dry with our African printed Fazao Umbrella.