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The Rise of African Print in Global Fashion

the rise of african global fashion

In recent years, we've seen how African print has taken the global fashion scene by storm - and we're so excited! It’s like watching a piece of our heritage and identity being celebrated on a world stage. From the streets of London and New York to the high-end runways of Paris and Milan, African print is everywhere, and we're here for it! Let’s dive into this colourful journey.

The Roots of African Print

Origin Stories

Let’s start with a bit of history. African prints, such as Ankara, Kente, and Dashiki, are deeply rooted in African culture. For instance, Ankara was originally known as ‘Dutch wax prints’ and found its way to West Africa, where it was embraced passionately. Each pattern tells a story, and each colour a symbol. It's more than fabric; it's a narrative.

"Growing up, I remember how the women in my life used to wear their traditional African print clothing. It was a way of life and their way of connecting to our Nigerian roots, our heritage". - Abiola (co-founder)


African Print in Global Fashion

The High Fashion Embrace

The leap from cultural attire to high fashion has been spectacular. Designers like Stella McCartney and brands like Dior have integrated African prints into their collections. This fusion of traditional and modern aesthetics is not just beautiful; it’s revolutionary.

Celebrity Influence

When Beyoncé wore an Ankara outfit in her ‘Black is King’ visual album, it was a significant moment. African print became a symbol of pride and power, transcending beyond just being a ‘trend’.

The Influence on Street Style

African print isn’t just for special occasions anymore. It’s part of our daily expression. Being able to wear African prints from weddings to the workplace and from parties to birthdays is truly liberating and should be celebrated.

African Print as a Symbol of Identity and Empowerment

More Than Just Fabric

Wearing African print is like wearing a piece of history. It’s empowering. For us, it’s a reclaiming of our narrative and a showcase of our rich culture.

"It gives me a sense of community with those that I share a deep heritage with. Although, we've been divided through history and time, African prints showcases our unique and colourful heritage that reconnects us. It's a community reinforcer." - Tamara (co-founder)


Cultural Connection

The beauty of African print lies in its versatility and how it connects us to our roots. Whether it’s a gorgeous Dashiki top paired with jeans or a full stunning Ankara dress, it’s a celebration of who we are.



Supporting African Designers and Sustainable Fashion

Ethical Fashion Choices

One way to honour the heritage of African print is by supporting African brands that ethically source and produce their garments. It’s about making fashion choices that are conscious and respectful.

Sustainability in Fashion

African fashion is not just about aesthetics; it’s also leading the way in sustainable practices. By choosing African brands, you're supporting a movement that values the environment and the people behind the clothes.

Embracing and Unleashing Creativity

As an African-Inspired fashion brand, River & Mara is at the heart of this emerging trend and we're weaving a narrative that celebrates our rich African heritage while building communities and reconnecting with those that share this heritage across the globe. Our mission is to bring the vibrant, diverse, and deeply rooted traditions of African print to the global stage. We believe in fashion that tells a story, fashion that embodies culture, and fashion that connects all of us to our roots.




The rise of African print in global fashion is more than just a trend; it’s a movement. It’s about celebrating our heritage, reconnecting communities, and making a statement. As black people, these prints allow us to express ourselves in the most vibrant and powerful ways.

So, let’s wear our prints with pride, support the artisans behind them, and keep this beautiful narrative alive and thriving!

Final Note

For more inspiration, check out our Instagram. Let’s celebrate our gorgeous and shared culture, one outfit at a time!

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