The fashion industry is known for copying but is it ethical when you pay a designer a studio visit in the guise of something else, when your real intentions are to soak up as much inspiration as you can and then use it for your collection the next season without giving credit to your source of inspiration.
African creatives who are all concerned about the Fashion industry and it’s growth,some of us feel we are being exploited.This are some of the disscussions on twitter about this issue.
The 9th Annual Columbia University African Economic Forum (@ColumbiaAEF) took place on April 13-14, 2012. With its theme Africa Reclaiming Africa: Changing the Rules of Engagement. The forum also had an Art and Fashion Show & an African Fashion Panel including Arise Magazine Editor & New African Fashion Author Helen Jennings (@hellojennings), media personality Lola Ogunnaike (@lolaogunnaike), Founder and Creative Director of online magazine/boutique Heritage 1960 Enyinne Owunwanne (@Heritage1960), Burkina babe fashion model Georgie Badiel (@GeorgieBadiel) and Max Osterweis of SUNO New York (@SUNONY).
Heritage 1960 owner Enyinne led the discussion in the panel and several key aspects were discussed. Issues like the Condenasts Vogue Magazine fragmenting of the African fashion industry by creating spin offs like Vogue Black and Vogue curvy instead of adding these contents to their main magazines.
The role of African Fashion Magazines in African Fashion was been questioned, probably giving the African print and online media something to think about and a need to review their visions and goals.
The whole conversation which can be followed on twitter via #CUAEF brought up loads of questions to get Africans thinking of a way forward and it also highlighted the plight most African designers undergo in terms of their work and heritage been looted without proper homage or credit in mainstream fashion media.
Lisa Folawiyo the creative director of top African Luxury brand Jewel By Lisa also claimed that Burberry paid her studio a visit sometime in the past. The details of the visit were not stated but one can deduce that it was a spying trip, because a season later Burberry comes up with an African print laden ss12 collection which stole the show but claimed they were not inspired by Africa.
Burberry Prorsum Men’s SS12 Print Shirt
Associate producer of ABC News Wadzania Mhute (@Wadza_M) also joined the conversation and termed Burberry’s claim that they were not inspired by Africa for their ss12 collection as ‘scandalous’
Burberry Prorsum Women’s SS12 Ankara Print Skirt
African online Fashion magazine Graft & Glamour also joined the conversation
Burberry Prorsum Women’s Ankara Print Silk Crepe Dress
The discussions drew to a close with some wise words from Ghanaian Jewelry Designer Anita Horsfall of Anita Quansah London
Anita Quansah London Neckpiece
Burberry ss12 Wedges
Special thanks to onenigerianboy. Check out their website at http://www.onenigerianboy.com