Modern Africa hits the menswear runway

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I’ve enjoyed the modernised African references that have come through so far on the AW14 menswear runways – notably at Agi & Sam, A Sauvage and Stella Jean. I’m hoping we’ll see more at the forthcoming women’s shows. As much as I like traditional kente cloth and wax-style prints, it’s good to see a more varied approach to ‘Africa’ that moves on from Masai beading and casually draped robes.

At LC:M, London-based Adrien Sauvage‘s debut catwalk show referenced his Ghanaian roots, with sweatshirts featuring the crossed-out faces of Ghanaian military leaders. I loved the skinny tailoring and youth culture classics (biker jackets, bombers, tartan pants) as well as the beatnik-y sunglasses by Eye Respect.
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Agi & Sam are never predictable, their AW14 show was a refined and bold comment on first world meets third world – all in an unexpectedly muted colour palette. These bold jackets and tunic tees featuring graphics from imaginary African oil companies struck a chord, while the oversized black and white plaid coats had echoes of 80s multi-cultural Buffalo style.
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Showing her second menswear collection at Pitti, Rome-based Stella Jean always starts with ‘African’ print and develops from there. For AW14, her silhouettes were multicultural – British tweed coats, kimono-inspired jackets and two-piece suits. This time her prints were miniaturised to the point that you can’t tell what they are, but the colours are beautifully harmonised.

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Finally, proof that Africa is trending (and a ripe market that brands and marketers have their beady eye on), here’s the new Guinness ad that celebrates the dandyish Sapeurs of the Congo

[Images: Style.com]

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2 Responses to Modern Africa hits the menswear runway

  1. Bec says:

    my friend walked for Agi and Sam this season! loved the clothes!!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I watched the short video about the Sapeurs linked to from the Guinness advert; I have so much respect for those gentlemen and want to learn more about them now.

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