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Book Review: New African Fashion by Helen Jennings

Posted by Luke Hall, November 16th, 2011

New African Fashion by Helen Jennings gives the reader a compelling, comprehensive look at African designers and models who have helped define what it means to represent their African culture and heritage in their professional careers. Amidst the 200-something page glimpse into the origins of African fashion, one quote by Deola Sagoe particularly stood out for me. “I want to bring out the strength of the African woman, who is now more liberated and independent but still retains her mystery and femininity.” That pretty much sums of the tone of this book in that it’s both bold and courageous and, most importantly, unabashedly unapologetic for staying true to African roots.

While Candice Swanepoel, Behati Prinsloo and Heidi Versler are appear to have that All-American girl-next-door look, it’s both refreshing and liberating to see them paying homage to their South African roots and learning about their starts in the modelling industry in their native homeland.

Menswear bloggers will be excited to know that Karl-Edwin Guerre of Guerreisms is also celebrated in a six-page spread for his achievements and unique take on street style photography.

If you’re at all interested in how African art has made its way into design collections from the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Junya Watanabe, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and COMME des GARÇONS, you might want to consider giving this book a read. The profiles featured are informative and revealing, and the photography and layout is exceptionally eye-appealing.

Available for purchase here.

Luke Hall

Luke Hall

Luke Hall

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