African Fashion Education: The future of the African fashion education industry

African Fashion Education: The future of the African fashion education industry

The Council for International African Fashion Education (CIAFE) is an organisation that is dedicated to improving the standards of fashion education in order to make it accessible to all people in hopes to create employability opportunities, launched in July 2021.

FashionUnited spoke with CIAFE’s executive director Frederica Brooksworth about the development of digital fashion and sustainability in African fashion education and what the future looks like for the industry as a whole.

How will sustainable fashion develop in the African fashion education industry?

To be honest, I think the African fashion education industry has the power to join in leading the sustainable fashion conversation. I mean, when you look at sustainability, people have been living sustainably in Africa pretty much their entire lives. The concept of the pre-order model isn’t something new to people on the continent or in the diaspora. How people wash their clothes, mend and recycle is a lifestyle and not a fad. How garments are made and how fabrics are used is also interesting, and there is so much more to discuss.

Will digital fashion become an important factor in the future for the African fashion industry? If yes/no, why?

We’re already seeing digital fashion being integrated into the industry. Recently, there has been a huge surge in digital designers, 3D Digital Fashion Shows, new e-commerce platforms and the conversation about NFTs and the metaverse are all taking place now. It is inevitable therefore it’s something that African fashion leaders are subscribing to.

How will education institutions change in the future, what new opportunities will be offered?

The change I see taking place is creating more agile programmes and allowing students to decide what exactly they want to study. We will see fewer design programmes and more multifaceted programmes being developed. This will lead to employability opportunities in different sectors, we will see more international organisations also coming to Africa to participate in the growth of the industry.

What is the future for the African fashion education industry as a whole?

The future is exciting because I’m seeing the changes now, the African fashion industry as a whole is being embraced by the international fashion industry and will soon receive the same amount of attention in terms of funding, awards, media coverage and international students choosing to study on the continent. As well as more research, publishing opportunities, it is endless!

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