The fashion industry is one of the fastest rising industries in the world and female influence is a contributing factor to its development especially, in Africa.
The women in Africa are keenly championing the expansion of the fashion sector through the exportation of African designs across borders, and increasing visibility in top fashion trends worldwide.
African designs for women and designs made by African female designers account for a large percentage of global growth in the fashion industry which is worth over 30 billion dollars according to the global fast fashion market report.
Statistics show that the fashion industry is expected to grow by over 5% by 2025. This growth is attributed to women empowerment, the growing number of fashion inclined females and their ability to spend more on emerging women fashion wears and products amongst others.
Female influence in the fashion industry has helped to gratify the progress of fashion, in the hub of lifestyle and business. There are three major factors female influence in the fashion industry has impacted. They are;
Over the years, fashion has become one of the major channels of representation for both women and men in society, specifically for women. Identifying who you are and expressing yourself freely is what many women fashion designers preach through their designs.
This has given rise to creativity and a diverse representation of the female gender in Africa and the world at large. Initially, Africa was deep-rooted in the depiction of an ideal woman style in a particular pattern.
Generally, African women are seen as homely and as such were boxed in, in terms of dressing. The women’s clothing consisted mostly of wrappers, robes, scarves, skirts and blouses. All of these were worn in one pattern for many years, and women struggled with expressing themselves through fashion until fashion began evolving and female designers started getting involved.
Now, the African woman style has evolved through female designers breaking from the norm by incorporating ingenious style in female fashion.
Creating women wear in bold prints, daring colours and modern silhouettes designs, African female designers such as Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa), Thabo Makhetha-Kwinana (South Africa), Christie Brown (Ghana), Lisa Folawiyo (Nigeria), Eliana murargy (Mozambique) and many more, have changed the course of fashion for the today’s African woman. Helping her to explore various patterns, identify and embrace her style in a free form with no restrictions.
The African woman identity is now fluid, expressive and free-spirited. She can choose to identify as either bold, sexy, daring, bougie, subtle or all in one depending on which she identifies best as.
The expansion of the women’s fashion industry has not only been advancing in society but creating jobs for different people, men inclusive.
Textile and clothing industry is the second biggest sector worldwide. The fashion industry accounts for millions of people employed in society, with over 200,000 people employed monthly.
In Africa and other places, the population consists largely of the laymen, less educated but highly skilled. Most jobs in the fashion industry are not discriminative because it does not require having a sound educational background, all that is needed is skills. Skills which can be acquired through training within less than 2 years.
Both the educated and uneducated individuals benefit from the job opportunities women influence in the fashion industry in society.
Essentially, as the women’s fashion industry is experiencing growth, so is it helping to eradicate the problem of unemployment in Africa one step at a time.
Fashion is a mode of lifestyle and a very lucrative business. The market value is ever increasing because wearables are things that the world cannot do without in a thousand years to come. The sector worldwide has a market value of $1trillion and in Africa billions.
Women’s fashion accounts for over 40% of revenue generated from the fashion sector. More women’s wear is sold monthly than men’s wear, due to the large population of women that spend on purchasing fashion items.
Revenue in the fashion industry is estimated to reach $878,334 million in 2021. Annually, the growth rate is projected to grow by 7.31% from 2021- 2025 resulting in an estimated market volume of $1,164,695 million. Women ‘s fashion is projected to account for over 3% of the growth rate.
Following the current trends, Women are leading the fashion industry worldwide and African women fashion is top charting the fashion trends in various areas worldwide. Fashion has become a tool for women to showcase their style and explore creativity. Thereby, creating an opportunity for free expression and inspiring others.