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Fashion Cities Africa is a major UK based exhibition that explores and celebrates the African continent’s influence and contribution to global fashion. The exhibition which opened earlier this year on 30th April at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery explores the diverse fashion and style of four leading African cities, Casablanca in Morocco; Nairobi in Kenya; Lagos in Nigeria and Johannesburg in South Africa. Cities that are at the compass points of the African continent. Fashion Cities Africa tackles the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding African fashion and its diverse expressions of creativity.
[Main image credit: Fashion Cities Africa, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery – Judith Ricketts]

Fashion Cities Africa Exhibition

[Image credit: Fashion Cities Africa, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery – Judith Ricketts]
The exhibition was curated alongside museum staff by by African fashion specialists and authors Hannah Azieb Pool and Helen Jennings who visited each of the cities in the summer of 2015 to identify the key players, and explore the local fashion scene. On display is an array of clothing from couture to street style the sections accompanied by images, sound and film that invoke the spirit and creativity of each city.

Inside Fashion Cities Africa Exhibition

2ManySiblings at Fashion Cities Africa Exhibition

[Image credit: Fashion Cities Africa at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery; top image credit,  Judith Ricketts;
bottom image,
2manysiblings (Velma Rossa and Papa Petit) photographed by VOStudio]
A must-see for lovers of African fashion Fashion Cities Africa runs until 8 January 2017 and is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated book of the same name edited by Hannah Azieb Pool and filled with interviews with designers, stylists, bloggers, commentators shaping the fashion scene in their respective cities.
[Image credit: Fashion Cities Africa, Book – Brighton Museum and Art Gallery]
And, this weekend from the 28th-30th October the Brighton Museum will be hosting a celebration of African fashion, food, music and film inspired by the exhibition.
– Tapiwa
Additional details:
For further information about the African Cities Exhibition visit: http://brightonmuseums.org.uk
Purchase Fashion Cities Africa Book: Amazon £20
[Image credits: All images sourced from Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and belong to the credited photographer 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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