African Fashion: It's The New Black!

New York may be the #1 fashion city in the world, but African designers are where it's at. (We really wanted to write 'wear it's at," but even we couldn't bring ourselves to make that kind of pun.) Anna Trzebinski of Nairobi, for instance, is one of the hottest designers amongst the Hollywood set, churning out items snatched up by retailers like Paul Smith, who carry her wares "simply because they're unique." Smith sees Trzebinski's work as a novelty, almost, stocking one or two pieces of a single item as a merchandising technique to make his own customers feel like they are part of some exclusive experience. Uh, how quaint!

By which we mean: Is it good that the Western market has finally opened up for African designers? Or is this just another example of the West taking from Africa for its own benefit? All we know is that we might actually start cutting ourselves if we hear the phrase "tribal influences" in describing some European designer's latest collection ever again.

Style Out Of Africa [Newsweek]
Earlier: Anna Wintour's Heart Of Darkness