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10 Reasons Why African Fashion Is Taking The World By Storm

10 Reasons Why African Fashion Is Taking The World By Storm

Since 2011, the number of online searches for the term ‘African Fashion’ has literally been on a non-stop upward growth curve signalling to anyone who’s been paying attention, that there is something going on here. In your day to day life, you may have noticed the recent resurgence of interest with regards to African Clothing and Fashion. Maybe you or a friend choose to wear a Dashiki every once in a while.

Whatever the case may be, the likelihood is you’ve noticed something; African Fashion is growing. But why may have eluded you up till now.

Below I will describe the 10 key reasons why I think that African Fashion has experienced this recent boom. And why, in my opinion, this is only the beginning.

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1. More and more of the African Diaspora are returning home, starting fashion-focused businesses

Many in the diaspora have decided that now is the time to return home and start up on their own. Fashion is a very popular sector for many starting a new business, as this is one of the lowest cost, most well-known businesses that can be started on the continent.

Social media makes it easier than ever to spread enthusiasm and create new interest in African Fashion as a by-product. An example of this can be found with Roz’Umy Couture in Senegal, whose Senegalese founder previously worked in the corporate world, but now produces some of the best traditional clothing in West Africa today. One of the company’s clients is the current President of Nigeria!

2. Social media has enabled greater exposure of African clothing

The ease and reach to which things can be shared and people can be reached has lead to a much broader range of tastes being served. This can be referred to as the ‘Long Tail’ of African Fashion so to speak. So that even those who previously did not really have interest, due to not seeing anything they liked, now have abundant choices.

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3. The African Diaspora (especially millennials) are re-learning and re-engaging with their culture

The increased interest over the last few years (due in large part to the increased availability of information from sources such as YouTube and Wikipedia), have lead to many in the African diaspora re-engaging and re-learning their culture. And that includes Fashion.

4. Western fashion has started to incorporate African-inspired ideas

You could hardly watch a model walking down a cat-walk in 2015 without seeing at least some African influence. It is no longer rare to see a Dashiki or Kente colored cloth in major fashion shows and parties around Europe nowadays.

5. Celebrities have begun to embrace African fashion

Celebrities such as Chris Brown and Beyonce have been spotted wearing traditional Dashikis and other African clothing. And as we all know, no-one is a better publicist for fashion than celebrities.

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6. Afro-beats has led to increased interest in all aspects of contemporary African culture

And as you might imagine, African culture also includes African fashion. The magnifying glass has been put on African culture in a big way. Interest in contemporary Fashion on the continent is an obvious by-product.

7. The rise of African Art has lead to an increased interest in these things too

African art on its own has seen a huge resurgence in recent years. With many paying millions for the most sought after items in the space. As with the example of Afro-beat, this increased appreciation has a parallel effect on other related areas, such as the Fashion sector.

8. African Fashion is worn more often by people in the Diaspora, leading to more recognition and appreciation

It is now seen as fashionable to wear African-inspired clothing in everyday life. More and more people are being drawn into the niche due to the simple fact that they see others that they know (or in some cases don’t), wearing these clothes.

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9. Increased political consciousness has lead ultimately to an interest in culture

With an increased consciousness of issues that affect black people around the world, such as police brutality, many have in sought answers to the question of how we got here and found a new appreciation for the culture and traditions of the past. Fashion and style of dress being a big part of that.

10. The rise of African cinema (Nollywood in particular)

African cinema’s growth, through channels such as YouTube, and VOD platforms such as iRoko TV has massively encouraged the growth of the African cashion sector. With many of the stars in the space regularly showcasing the best the continent has to offer.

Featured photo credit: Elvert Barnes via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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