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


May 21st, 2017

SHE SAID YES! Fashion’s true Champion! Katharine Hamnett joins us as a speaker at Fashion Africa Conference this May

To my fellow Afropreneurs

Guess what?

She said yes!!!

What? Who? you say…let me explain.

When I started my Fashion Design BA Hons degree in 1998 there were many influencers to my work and my design ethics. I loved all the fashion greats such as the late great Alexander McQueen through to the work of Dame Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano for Dior. I was totally in awe of their creativity and fashion showcases. Alongside this I had a further, and more deeper interest in designers who gave a message through their clothing and one of these designers was Katharine Hamnett.

Her almost anarchist approach to the industry was inspirational. Like Westwood she went against the norm and was seen as a rebel (don’t you just love her!). I also liked to raise the protest bar by causing a paradigm shift in my work. So from creating a final catwalk collection during Graduate Fashion Week 2001, based on the transatlantic slave trade using only natural earth fabrics with a majority black model cast, through to launching my African Cotton Campaign Tee collection that I brought to the catwalks of London Fashion Week, Ghana Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Week Los Angeles – my work always had a story and it was designers such as Katherine who unknowingly to her inspired that.

cotton tees afg

African Cotton Campaign Tees by AFG – Models Rich Blk and Nana Antwi – Photo by AO Photography

Our slogan tees were directly influenced by hers as I saw it as a great way to bring a message to a bigger audience and cause a stir.

So when Katharine agreed to be part of our Fashion Africa Conference 2017 as a speaker it was great news for me!

Those who remember Katharine’s work knows her to have been a purvayer of the slogan T since 1979.  Famous for the “Frankie says” t-shirts of the 1980s and “Choose Life” tee, she once famously met with Margaret Thatcher wearing “58% don’t want Pershing” in reference to the Pershing Balistic missiles. Katharine Hamnett took on the mission for battling the actual t-shirt onto which the slogans are printed. She has been highlighting the her fight for organic cotton and for the organic cotton industry which if you know myself and my work has been the focus of my work in Africa since undertaking my Masters degree in Ethical Fashion. She is surely a woman of my own heart.

katharine hamnett tees

With a heart for diversity too Katharine complained about the racism of fashion designers London Fashion Week in 2008. “The catwalks are full of white dogs, cosmetic companies don’t like black models – the racist *&#@*. I have no idea why when it’s obvious that black girls are just so genuinely much more beautiful than Caucasians, who have clearly got the short straw. Black girls have much better body shapes and it’s such a shame. I just think there should be a bit more of a balance.” 

So I personally would like to welcome Katharine to our event next week. It is a true joy to have a designer who has seen the changes in the industry and continues to campaign about it. It is also exciting to hear that her iconic 80’s slogan tees have been brought back! You can check them out here and support the causes she supports.

The 2017 Fashion Africa Conference will focus on Future Africa and aims to be part of this revolution. Question is will you join us on this journey? Katherine is a believer in supporting sustainable fashion in Africa…now it is over to you.

I personally don’t want you to miss out.

Sign up here for your opportunity to be part of Africans fashion future.

Just 4 days to go!

So don’t delay register today!


With love from Africa
Jacqueline Shaw

Africa Fashion Guide Ltd



See our video from our 2016 edition here to get you ready for it!




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