2018 African fashion trends

What looks and styles will take off this year, filtering down from African high fashion to the mainstream clothing industry? African fashion has grown in popularity recently, with more A-list celebrities from the United States opting to wear African-inspired prints and accessories. African fabrics and beauty products are growing industries across the globe, from usage in major fashion shows to being purchased in the average household.

African hairstyles, patterns and jewellery are the ‘in-thing’ at the moment, and with movies such as Black Panther showcasing the beauty of African cultures, the rest of the world takes note. One such African garment that has kicked off a trend is the headwrap – traditionally used by older women in a few African cultures, the headwrap has captured the attention of celebrities such as Beyoncé.

Bold colours and striking patterns are synonymous with African fabrics and cultural dress. Bright colours, geometric shapes and beautiful prints will certainly influence the ranges of top fashion brands in 2018. Ankara and kitenge outfits are great examples of the striking patterns that are likely to feature in fashion this year.

Hairstyles and the ‘natural look’ are a hot topic at the moment, pre-empting big, textured hairstyles on the red carpet and runways around the world. Unstraightened, natural hair is a beautiful trend that should blossom in 2018, and with it the YouTube tutorials for natural hair care and African hair products.

Designers such as Gucci and Fendi have started incorporating African influences into their men’s ranges as well. The South African Menswear Week (SAMW) saw perfect examples of how African cultures have inspired top designers in the menswear department.

Statement jewellery, such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings have always been popular accessories, but this year we will see a rise in designs and materials that take influence from Africa. Geometric shapes, beaded or crafted from wood and bone – keep an eye out for rustic necklaces and earrings on red carpets.


Be inspired by the latest sneaker trends.


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