NEW YORK, United States - The emerging designers on the African continent deserve access to the same resources as those given to creatives in London, New York, and elsewhere. Why?
Because remarkable design aesthetic that can inspire knows no bounds. The industry on the ground is invariably different by each country's unique history, so there is no need to generalize, but there is a need to discuss the growing disparities for a continent that can inspire Western designers, but who itself cannot capture the economic benefits at the same time?
How about a quarterly publication that will do its best to provide insights into the business of fashion in Africa, not for Western entities to engulf and extricate as they've been tragically prone to do, but for genuine understanding that will begin to peel back the layers of stereotypical simplicity that have shaped the narrative of fashion in Africa since the beginning of... well, since early European literature describing the peoples of Africa in the most base of characterizations. Does poor, sick, and illiterate ring a bell?
Let's not minimize why the challenges in the fashion industry exist presently in Africa. Much has to do with the infrastructure deficits due to civil strife, corruption, and prioritization of other national projects. Much has to do with the lack of manufacturing and logistical know-how that was shared with domestic talent. However, much has to do with a perceived level of taste - African designers are rarely mentioned in the gilded couturiers of legend or front stage in modern inner circles, but they do hail from a diaspora heritage, replete with generational perseverance and traditional practices that continue to find their way on mood boards and Beyonce's visual album LEMONADE. Times are certainly changing for today's diaspora creative. The facts remain, there are stories to tell and there are interesting paths for those that have so-called made it and those still on their way.
PROTOChic is in progress on the first issue of its quarterly print publication.