From Akan To the World: How kente Has Influenced world fashion
by Chinazor Ikedimma on Oct 16, 2023
Ghanaian Kente cloth has indeed had a significant influence on the world fashion industry. Though It is indigenous to the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast, it has charmed its way into the global market. Its vibrant colors and intricate patterns have made it a sought-after material not only in West Africa but also on the global fashion stage. Here are some ways in which Kente has influenced the world fashion industry:
1. Symbol of African Identity: First thing that comes to mind when one sees kente is Africa. Kente is deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of the Akan people,its rich and powerful designs speaks volume of the beauty of African culture. It has been used for centuries in various ceremonies, including weddings, funerals, and festivals. As a result, it has become an essential symbol of African identity and heritage, which has been embraced and incorporated into fashion around the world.
2. Global Appeal: Kente's striking and colorful patterns have a universal appeal. It has been adopted and incorporated into various fashion styles and designs worldwide. Designers from different countries have used Kente fabric to create unique and eye-catching clothing, making it a popular choice for special occasions and everyday wear.
3. High-Profile Celebrities and Events: Kente cloth has been worn by numerous celebrities and public figures on red carpets, at award ceremonies, and during cultural events. This exposure has contributed to its popularity and recognition on the global fashion scene.
4. African Fashion Movement: The rise of the African fashion movement, with a focus on celebrating and promoting African textiles and designs, has further popularized Kente. African fashion designers, both on the continent and in the diaspora, have used Kente in their collections, helping to create a global demand for African-inspired fashion. 5. Economic Impact: The production of Kente cloth provides employment and income to many weavers and artisans in Ghana. This economic impact helps sustain the tradition of Kente weaving and encourages its continued use in the fashion industry.
6. Fashion Collaborations: Some international fashion brands and designers have collaborated with Ghanaian artisans and weavers to create Kente-inspired collections. These collaborations not only introduce Kente to a wider audience but also support the local artisans and the preservation of their craft.
7. Incorporation into Modern Designs: Kente has been incorporated into modern clothing styles, including dresses, suits, accessories, and even footwear. This fusion of traditional Kente patterns with contemporary fashion trends has made it more versatile and appealing to a broader range of consumers.
8. Symbol of Pan-Africanism: Kente has been embraced as a symbol of Pan-Africanism and pride. It has been worn by African leaders and activists and is often used to convey a sense of unity and cultural heritage.