Who Are Africa’s Top Fashion Influencers?

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With a steadily expanding middle class, Africa holds plenty of untapped potential for luxury brands. But who are the influencers who are moving the needle on the continent and beyond?

These days, global brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada and Hermès are competing with a growing number of homegrown labels, as designers like Rich Mnisi, Kenneth Ize, Hanifa and Thebe Magugu tap into rising demand for African-made fashion.

In order to succeed, Western brands must harness the power of local influencers, ranging from stars of Nigerian cinema, dubbed Nollywood, to television presenters, singers and influencers, technology company Heuritech said in a webinar titled “Discover the African Fashion Scene.”

“The narration of African fashion cannot be done without African creatives,” said Amélie Rotsen, fashion analyst at Heuritech, which offers brands fashion trend forecasting using artificial intelligence to translate pictures shared on social media into market insights.

“People are now really quick to call out a brand for cultural appropriation, so stop any narrative based on Western imagery, and try to really call those creatives to create stories that will highlight their culture, the way they know how,” she added.

Total private wealth held in Africa is expected to rise by 30 percent over the next 10 years, reaching $2.6 trillion by 2030, according to the “Africa Wealth Report 2021” published by AfrAsia Bank. South Africa is home to the largest luxury market in Africa by revenue, followed by Kenya and Morocco, it said.

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