APiF: Please introduce yourself – what is your professional background?
Jacqueline Shaw: I have been working in the field of fashion design since 2001, specifically as a designer working within Sportswear and Casual Fashion.
APiF: What is the book about?
Jacqueline: Fashion Africa is as its subheading says ‘A visual overview of contemporary African fashion’. It brings together contemporary designers and producers connected with African fashion – who are born in Africa, produce in Africa, source in Africa – and presents these fashion companies in a modern way.
APiF: What is the objective of the book?
Jacqueline: To change the perception of African fashion. To open the eyes of the textile industry and fashion design community to see the true potential, growing market and opportunities in Africa.
APiF: How did you select the designers you are featuring – based on personal taste or on impact?
Jacqueline: The designers had to have a strong connection to Africa – and either be born, produce or source in Africa – and on top of that they had to be a responsible business that considers sustainability and ethical business practises as highly important. I wanted to feature designers who simply made beautiful fashion pieces that changed the image of African fashion and textiles in a positive way.
APiF: 3 Years ago the book “New African Fashion” by Helen Jennings came out as well as the first edition of your book “Fashion Africa“.How has “African Fashion” changed since?
I believe that during the time that both my self-published version of Fashion Africa and Helen’s book came out, the African fashion industry had really started to take off.
It was a time that the international markets were really starting to look at Africa. The traditional newspapers like the UK Guardian for example, Huffington Post and publications like Stylist Magazine and Drapers Records were starting to look at African designers and heading to shows in Lagos, Nigeria and South Africa too. Coverage of African fashion is now huge – from CNN to The Business of Fashion, Susie Bubble Blog Pages and event to the First Lady Michelle Obama – African Fashion is really taking its place on the international fashion scene. There is a lot of potential and it’s an exciting time.
APiF: Will this book be available as e-book/download or App?
Jacqueline: My publisher Jacaranda Books have said “Yes, we do have plans to produce the book digitally and are exploring our options beyond the ebook version, looking at apps among other things.”
APiF: Why should readers buy this book?
Jacqueline: Simply because there is nothing out there already on this topic that presents this industry in this way. Not only is it beautifully produced with amazing photographs, gorgeous illustrations and is put together in such a strong way by Jacaranda Books, but it foes into the true story of African through the interviews. IT gives the reader and inside view of producing and sourcing in Africa, being a designer in African and the Diaspora and of the challenges and the joys that are associated with these things. It is educational and glossy. So it’s a must buy for any fashion enthusiast or lover of African culture and textiles.
You can buy the book here: