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Fashion Illustration is a creative discipline that in recent years has captured the imagination of fashion lovers everywhere, and is by no means a recent phenomenon. The discipline has a rich history of documenting fashion, style and cultural trends long before the advent of cameras and photography led to its decline. Rising and falling in popularity over the decades but never quite reaching the dizzy heights of the past, in recent years Fashion Illustration has witnessed a renaissance on the back of the growing share culture that has been fostered by social media. This has allowed for an abundance of creative expression and discovering of exciting talent from around the globe, from countries where Fashion Illustration is a recognised discipline to others where illustrators have only become aware of the discipline through often accidental discovery online. The latter is the experience of many African Fashion Illustrators on a continent where Fashion Illustration is relatively new when it comes to career choices. In recognition of the continent’s emerging new generation of fashion illustrators who are laying the foundations for this industry to grow and develop is my new book, Fashion Illustration Africa published by African art book publishers, Shoko Press.

 

Complied by myself, Tapiwa Matsinde and with an introduction by South African Fashion Illustrator and writer, Zakirah Rabaney, Fashion Illustration Africa is a vibrant, visually inspiring sourcebook that presents the work of 23 dynamic fashion illustrators and designers drawn from across Africa and the diaspora, whose work is shaping what has until now been a virtually non-existent commercial industry across the continent. Given a voice by social media and the internet’s democratizing, border-crossing abilities, Fashion Illustration highlights a young and digitally savvy generation who are also championing diversity in a global fashion industry that tends to be defined by one model of beauty and style. Social media is helping these illustrators to build their profiles and connect to audiences outside their borders bringing greater awareness to their work that in the case of names such as Papa Oppong, Peniel Enchill, Udegbunam TBJ and Kobby Adu amongst others, has led to a cult status among their growing followers.

A book about a new generation of African fashion illustrators

[Image credits: Fashion Illustration Africa, cover and inside pages – Shoko Press]

Fashion illustration in Africa is also being used to help develop local fashion industries translating the ideas of fashion designs onto paper to be developed into collections, as well as introduce a diverse voice to the global industry,

 

Fashion Illustration Africa captures this exciting new generation of African fashion illustrators and is a book that will be invaluable to industry professionals, students and other interested parties in finding inspiration and information in one place.

 

Additional details:

Fashion Illustration Africa priced at: GBP£12.99

For further information about Fashion Illustration Africa and to purchase visit Shoko Press: www.shokopress.com/shop/fashion-illustration-africa/

 

[Image credits: All the images shown belong to Shoko Press. If  downloaded and used elsewhere, please credit accordingly]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

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