African Fashion, Global Style

African Fashion, Global Style

Histories, Innovations, and Ideas You Can Wear
Victoria L. Rovine
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 01/12/2015
ISBN: 978-0-253-01413-9
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African Fashion, Global Style provides a lively look at fashion, international networks of style, material culture, and the world of African aesthetic expression. Victoria L. Rovine introduces fashion designers whose work reflects African histories and cultures both conceptually and stylistically, and demonstrates that dress styles associated with indigenous cultures may have all the hallmarks of high fashion. Taking readers into the complexities of influence and inspiration manifested through fashion, this book highlights the visually appealing, widely accessible, and highly adaptable styles of African dress that flourish on the global fashion market.

Author Bio

Victoria L. Rovine is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is author of Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali (IUP, 2008).


“African Fashion, Global Style delivers on its title’s promise. Victoria L. Rovine establishes that modernity is not just a Western phenomenon, and provides examples of conceptual designers and smart consumers on the world’s second largest continent, offering readers new insights and hard data. She confirms that the intriguing topic of fashion is also serious business in Africa.”
 — Joanne B. Eicher, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion

“African Fashion, Global Style is a fascinating and important book, based on extensive research and written in a clear, accessible style. Victoria Rovine is one of the world’s greatest authorities on African fashion, and this is unquestionably the single best book on the subject.”
 — Valerie Steele , Director and Chief Curator, The Museum at FIT

“This book could be revolutionary. Victoria L. Rovine has provided a map of the African fashion terrain with sustained case studies that provide compelling evidence of the history resourcefulness, and personal creativity behind African fashion.”
 — Heather Marie Akou, Indiana University Bloomington

“A perceptive and thought-provoking inquiry into indigenous and international African fashion. Victoria L. Rovine demonstrates the relevance and special potential of fashion studies for providing new insights into the complex interconnections of African localities and global systems.”
 — Suzanne Gott, University of British Columbia

“A blast of fresh air for the discipline, Rovine’s book is a game changer. Her work on how African fashion tells stories will be sure to inspire debate and further research.

 — African Arts

“Despite the layered complexities of her subject, Rovine’s analysis is sophisticated and clear, never convoluted. Much of Rovine’s study comes out of individual face-to-face interviews with designers within the last 5-10 years, so much of the content is fresh and unique. This book would be a great introduction to those not at all familiar with African fashion, as well as an excellent read for those already well-versed in Africa’s creative fashion output.”
 — Worn Through

“Having successfully redefined fashion innovation, Rovine sets a new standard for fashion studies, whether Western or African.”
 — Africa

“This lavishly produced and well written book brings African fashion created by designers on the continent and beyond into the center of fashion studies by offering substantive insights into a subject that until recently has been relegated to the margins of conventional fashion scholarship and media reporting.”
 — Museum Anthropology Review

“[A] meticulously researched, richly illustrated, and very readable book about African fashion design and designers, and the global circulation of style... "African Fashon, Global Style" is a timely addition to an emergent body of critical fashion scholarship that works to decenter the canon of Western fashion by deprovincializing the African continent as a fashion-producing region.Dec 2015”

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Fashion Matters
1. Indigenous Fashion: Embroidery and Innovation in Mali
2. Nubia in Paris: African Style in French Fashion
3. Reinventing Local Forms: African Fashion, Indigenous Style
4. Conceptual Fashion: Evocations of Africa
5. Fashion Design in South Africa: Histories and Industries
Conclusion: What Fashion Shows