Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


January 7th, 2014

AFG Founder Jacqueline Shaw groundbreaking new book “Fashion Africa” launch date announced! February 2014

Fashion Africa launches in February 2014 with a new publisher!

 ‘Inspired…educated…impressive’ Vogue Italia 

 ‘One of the top sustainable fashion tweeters and top ten African fashion blogs’ Guardian 

Fashion Africa by Jacqueline Shaw 

Publication: 24 February 2014

There is a fashion renaissance going on in Africa – from street clothes to luxury wear.

Recent years have seen a flurry of new design collections from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Diane von Furstenberg, Junta Watanabe and more, all inspired by Africa’s vibrant colours. Increasingly, designers create collections locally in Africa, ranging from the ASOS Africa apparel collection, through to Vivienne Westwood’s bag collection made in ethical workshops in Kenya, to the collaboration between denim urban street brand Diesel and Edun (the brand label of Bono and wife Ali Hewson). And more designers are sourcing and manufacturing their work in Africa, selling them locally and in international markets.

In Fashion Africa Jacqueline Shaw showcases 40 of these designers, across the whole continent from Kayobi in Ghana to Brother Vellies in South Africa and Namibia, with specially commissioned photographs and revealing interviews.

The designers are honest about the challenges of producing in Africa; poor infrastructure, especially transportation; lack of specialized machinery; gaps in the supply chain that mean, for instance, that Africa grows 12% of the world’s cotton but exports 95% of this because there are not the mills and factories to process it.

But they also enthuse about Africa’s potential: on a creative level, the variety of fabrics, colours, craft techniques, and artistic and cultural influences. At a business level, the fashion industry can be an engine for economic growth because it’s relatively cheap to set up shop, and the brand values can centre around ethical standards that compare well to the world’s image of sweatshops in Asia.

At a time when Africa is enjoying unprecedented economic growth and a rapidly expanding middle class, fashion offers both a creative and a business opportunity.

‘I’ve encountered a lot of ignorant people that assume ‘made in Africa’ means made for 10 cents an hour by a minor – which in our case couldn’t be further from the truth. People are yet to think of Africa as somewhere that produces luxury good as well, but with my brand I know a lot of people hold our craftsmen and the quality of our leather and finished product in a very high regard’. Aurora James, founder Brother Vellies

‘My choice of textile development Barkcloth, is sourced from Uganda. A 600-year old tradition and one of the oldest cloths made by man…’ Josephine Kyomuhendo, founder José Hendo 

‘The positive aspect of producing in Africa is mainly the abundance of inspiration for designs…’ Kwabena Oppong Boateng, founder Kayobi (Ghana)

‘We need to feed this demand so that Africa can trade its way out of the poverty hole we are stuck in’ Alice Heusser and Olivia Kennaway, LaLesso (Kenya)

‘There was a time when you could only wear African-inspired attire in Africa. One would feel silly wearing it in Oxford Street in Central London. It is rewarding to hear from our clients all over the world saying that they word their Kiki Clothing garment to a wedding in Lebanon or the theatre in New York and … that they stood out from the crowd for all the right reasons.’ Titi Ademola Kiki Clothing (Ghana)

About the Author 

Jacqueline Shaw has worked within the fashion industry in the UK, China, Germany, Turkey and now in Africa. She is a fashion designer, business woman, eco-entrepreneur, blogger, writer and visionary. Jacqueline has travelled extensively throughout Africa, chronicling the fashion and textile industry and social enterprises across the continent from Ghana to Nigeria and Southern Africa. Her blog, Africa Fashion Guide, has been highlighted by The Guardian as one of the top ten African fashion blogs. She will be in the UK for publication.

Fashion Africa by Jacqueline Shaw will be published by Jacaranda Books

Date: 6 February 2014

Price £45 hardback

ISBN 9781909762008. 

For more information or to see preview pages please go to

Or to arrange an interview with Jacqueline Shaw please contact Ruth Killick at email:




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