Fashion Faux Pas: Where’s Vogue Africa?

By Colette Jones

  • Sub-saharan Africa's apparel and footwear market is worth $31B
  • Almost all of the major African cities have fashion weeks

Once Vogue Arabia was released, supermodel Naomi Campbell used her platform as a contributing editor to British Vogue to implore the company to create a Vogue Africa. The publication has yet to credit African designers for their impact on the global fashion industry, all while creating a central platform for them to attract more consumers.

Why This Matters: Sub-saharan Africa's apparel and footwear market is reportedly worth $31 billion according to data by Euromonitor, which represents a small fraction of the global market size.

Teen Vogue reported the apparent hesitancy to introduce a magazine for the region could be a result of widespread misconceptions about Africa lacking an adequate luxury market. There’s also a false narrative the country does not have the appropriate infrastructure and staff to properly maintain luxury institutions.

Almost all of the major African cities such as Cairo, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Lagos have fashion weeks, yet African designers are still struggling to find consistent customers. Many African designers credit their international success to social media, since they cannot rely on mainstream publications to advertise for them.

Situational Awareness: Although having a Vogue Africa could benefit African designers, some believe having one publication to address the fashion industry of an entire continent simply isn’t enough. Regardless of whether or not this publication comes to life, the only way to make African designers and their work become mainstream is to have influential retailers and consumers investing in them at the same rate they do for U.S. and European brands.

CBx Vibe: “Heard About Us” The Carters