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RANKED: 11 Biggest Fashion Cities In Africa

RANKED: 11 Biggest Fashion Cities In Africa

There has been a vast influx in the Fashion Industry around the globe over the past decade. From the Latin America to the Middle East, former Soviet bloc and the Middle East. The contributions of these areas have helped to redraw the fashion map revolutionalising what was once a regional, insular and Euro-centric enterprise.

As a consequence, fashion these days is way more global and geographically diverse system than it was an era ago. However, there is still on the region the periphery of this otherwise global enterprise: AFRICA.

Filled with culture, talent, creativity and vast natural resources, but afflicted with corruption, poverty, poor infrastructure, political instability and bureaucracy. Africa is far from direct and monolithic. By and large, herein lies the essence of all our issues.

The very concept of an ‘African market’ is quite inaccurate. “Unlike the European Union, the 55 distinctive countries that make up the African Union are not economically integrated as a single common market”.  The AU has over 50 different trading and legal conventions, ten overlapping regional blocs, a dozen climate zones and 2,000 spoken languages, this is a highly fragmented and precarious region, whether you’re sourcing, producing, selling or doing anything else along the fashion value chain. But it is one with scale and potential like no other.

One in seven people in the world live in Africa and Africa occupies more real estate than China, America, India and Europe combined. In one sense, the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative that has been playing as themes for fashion events and conferences around the continent couldn’t be more accurate. According to the 2017 Forbes Africa Rich List, there are 21 billionaires in the 55 countries that criss-cross the continent. Meanwhile, New World Wealth counts 165,000 African millionaires, who together hold an incredible 28 percent of the continent’s total personally-held wealth.

At the other end of the scale, several Africans are still fighting their way out of abject poverty, while a good number still remain under its oppressive yoke.

However, the business problems in Africa can be as huge as the chances that are around the corner; things are clearly getting better. All things considered, It is true that logistics and transportation networks are nothing to write home about. It costs two to three times more to deliver products to an African customer than to their counterparts in most developed countries. However, The Economist calculates that over the past decade, 75,000 kilometres of new roads has been built on the continent. Furthermore, Africa’s retail sector is growing, there are dozens of new shopping malls being built all over the continent.

With competitive labour costs, Africa has the potential to claim a much greater share of the world’s apparel and textile manufacturing output, but to achieve this, significant international investment is needed to build the industrial infrastructure required to compete with the likes of Asia. Nevertheless, a few bright spots are now emerging where clothing and footwear factories are creating both competitive products and sustainable jobs, such as in Mauritius, Ethiopia and Madagascar.

You don’t need to be a maverick or a first- mover to succeed in Africa anymore. According to the World Bank, the average annual growth rate across the continent is around five percent and the risk-to-reward ratio is much lower than it once was. Many African fashion businesses, large and small, are both innovative and profitable — but most will continue to underperform if they remain unplugged from the global fashion grid. Fortunately, at this juncture, support from the right international partners has the potential to pay dividends for investors and local businesses alike.


The List 0f Fashion Cities In Africa

The list of top fashion cities in Africa was compiled based on several factors; psme of which are millionaire ratio to the population, actual market value of the industry to the potential value and other rankings from other authoristies. Note: The Market Value is from research compiled in 2014.

11. Kinshasa, Congo DRC

Kinashasa, Congo DRC opens up the list of Fashion Cities In Africa in number 11. Home to the legendary Les Sapeurs style movement and a vibrant music industry, this is the capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Worth: $620 million.
Population: 11.6 million
Resident Millionaires: 500
Key Fashion Players: Okasol, Gloria Mteyu (Kinshasa Fashion Week), Tina Lobondi, Moseka, Jeampy Ombali


Fashion Cities In Africa


10. Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Famed for its skyscrapers and high-octane nightlife, this Francophone metropolis is the commercial capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Worth $549 million.
Population: 4.8 million
Resident Millionaires: 1,100
Key Fashion Players: Alain Niava, Laurence Chauvin Buthaud (Laurenceairline), Loza Maléombho, Centre Commercial Cap Sud


Fashion Cities In Africa

Abidjan, Afrik Fashion Show


9. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Coming in as the number nine city is the Headquarters of the African Union and a burgeoning manufacturing hub, this is the capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Value $440 million as of 2014
Population: 3.2 million
Resident Millionaires: 700
Key Fashion Players: Liya Kebede (Lemlem), Yodit Eklund (Bantu), Mafi by Mahlet Afework, Hiwot Gashaw (Abugida), Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (SoleRebels)


Fashion Cities In Africa

Addis Ababa Fashion Week


8. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

This upcoming East African business hub and Indian Ocean port is the commercial capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Value: $1.1 billion.
Population: 5.1 million
Resident Millionaires: 1,200
Key Fashion Players: Mustafa Hassanali (Swahili Fashion Week), Gabriel Ole Mollel, Ailinda Sawe, Quality Plaza, Mlimani City


Fashion Cities In Africa

Swahili Fashion Week


 7. Accra, Ghana

With a burgeoning entertainment industry, this cultural gateway to West Africa is the capital of a national apparel and footwear market. Recently amde the list of top fashion capitals in the world this year debuting at number 62.

Market Value: $167 million. as of 2014
Population: 2.3 million
Resident Millionaires: 2,100
Key Fashion Players: Claudia Lumar (Glitz), Accra Mall, Kofi Sekyere (West Hills Mall), Duaba Serwa, Kofi Ansah (d. 2014), Joyce Ababio, Christie Brown


Fashion Cities In Africa


6. Nairobi, Kenya

Nicknamed Silicon Savannah for its booming technology sector, this East African retail hub is the capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Value: $1 billion.
Population: 3.9 million
Resident Millionaires: 6,200
Key Fashion Players: Muchiri Wahome (Deacons), Little Red, Carol Odero, KikoRomeo, Wambui Kibue, Katungulu Mwendwa, Galleria, Westgate, The Junction, Diana Opoti


Fashion Cities In Africa


5. Dakar, Senegal

Dubbed ‘the Paris of Africa’, this flourishing centre for art and refreshing street style is the capital of the national apparel and footwear .

Market Value: $215 million.
Population: 5 million
Resident Millionaires: 600
Key Fashion Players: Oumou Sy, Selly Raby Kane, Adama Ndiaye (Dakar Fashion Week), Omar Victor Diop, Sea Plaza (Teyliom). Dakar is the highest African city debutant on the list of Fashion Capitals, debuting at number 56.


Fashion Cities In Africa


4. Luanda, Angola

One of the most expensive cities in the world, this Lusophone boomtown of oil and luxury is the capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Value: $1.5 billion.
Population: 5.5 million
Resident Millionaires: 5,200
Key Fashion Players: Hadjalmar El Vaim (Angola Fashion Week), Nadir Tati, Rose Palhares, Soraya da Piedade, Belas Shopping, Kinaxixi


Fashion Cities In Africa


3. Lagos, Nigeria

Where oil money meets the Nollywood film industry, this megacity is the commercial capital of the national apparel and footwear. The city with the most potentials amongst the other Fashion Cities In Africa comes in the number three position.

Market Value: $4.7 billion.
Population: 13 million (21 million metro area)
Resident Millionaires: 9,500
Key Fashion Players: Omoyemi Akerele (GTBank LFDW), Tayo and Ayo Amusan (Persianas), Reni Folawiyo (Alara), Ikeja City, Lisa Folawiyo, Tiffany Amber, Maki Oh, Orange Culture


Fashion Cities In Africa


2. Cape Town, South Africa

This bohemian melting pot was the 2014 World Design Capital and is the legislative capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Value $14.4 billion.
Population: 3.6 million
Resident Millionaires: 9,000
Key Fashion Players: Ian Moir (Woolworths), Emilie Gambade (Elle), Hanneli Rupert (Okapi), Callaghan, Kluk Cgdt,, Laduma Ngxokolo, Lalesso

Fashion Cities In Africa

1. Johannesburg, South Africa

The number one city amongst the Fashion Cities In Africa is Johannesburg. Hosting Africa’s largest stock exchange and its biggest business tycoons, this is the commercial capital of the national apparel and footwear.

Market Value $14.4 billion.
Population: 9.4 million
Resident Millionaires: 23,000
Key Fashion Players: Precious Moloi-Motsepe (AFI), Lucilla Booyzen (SAFW), Khanyi Dhlomo (Luminance), David Tlale, Black Coffee, Edcon, Surtee,


Fashion Cities In Africa


About The Author

Deji Okufi

Whenever Deji Okufi is not spending all his time scouting for new models or researching the modelling and fashion industry, he's researching ways he can deliver better content for his readers. In an attempt to control his obsession for perfectionism he also studies Digital Marketing.

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