Though Afro centric formal wear has redefined the local fashion scene, it is quite a challenge to get men hooked on the look.The ever-evolving fashion industry is always ushering in change and experimental new looks. Despite that designers pointed out that men often need to be given time to adapt to new looks.
Afrocentric wear clothing is made from authentic African fabrics mixed with ethnic trims and adornments. For men the style celebrates heritage. “The Afrocentric formal wear is exceptional. The challenge is that men are not good sellers of trends,” said the local young designer of the Rag clothing line, Theo.Theo said men tend to be skeptical of what they wear. Currently they are attracted to African fabrics that have limited colour and detail. Most of them are said to prefer the royal colours, which are more laid back and relaxed.
“One has to be careful with the look because men are not experimental and always want to keep their look clean,” he said, adding that for men style is something normal and what they are used to.
Judith Matola – a designer specialising in formal Afrocentric wears – said for sometime the fashion industry has ignored the contributions of Africa, its rich culture and unbelievable talent and creativity to the industry.
Amazingly the afrocentric style, which was initially inspired by ethnicity fused into weddings, can now be worn to the office. The style can create exquisite trending style anywhere any time.
Although the look is tricky for men, Matola said it is not biased and focused to only women. Men can now be part of the trend.She said men tend to be picky when choosing their clothing, but most of them are now into the trending flowery shirts, hence the African fabric shirts, trousers, ties and accessories can be incorporated into their look. The style allows men to express themselves whilst they are preserving their presence and cultural origin.
“Men can do the style but it has to be as limited as possible, going soft on the colours,” she said, adding that bright colour and detail do not suit males. “It’s amazing because traditional wear allows one to make their own trend and be original as it incorporates their personality into the outfit.”
She said men can use African wear as personal branding where they pick the clothing looking at their complexion, body shape and own personal style.