Vogue is the holy grail when it comes to fashion magazines, it is known as the bible of fashion, it is every fashion lovers go to and I guarantee you for a fact that there is no one in this world that has never heard of vogue. I remember buying my first ever issue at the age of 12 and this was when I first discovered my passion – I literally remember skipping lunch at school one day just to pay for it and it was the best decision I ever made! From then onwards I have been addicted, my collection of Vogue magazines got so big to the point that my mother threw most of them away because she thinks I’m a hoarder (I’m not btw). However little does she know Vogue is the main source of my inspiration when it comes to writing blog posts. So my question to you guys is, should there be a Vogue Africa? When it comes to this debate I am so conflicted, if you asked me the same question a few days ago I would have said YES, Most definitely but now after reading up on it I really don’t know.
If you didn’t know this already, Vogue started off in America as a weekly newspaper in 1892 and then later became a monthly publication. It is known as the worlds biggest fashion and lifestyle magazine covering every single topic you can think of. Topics of which can all be covered from the African perspective. It’s first international edition, British Vogue, was launched in 1916 and it has since expanded to include 23 more international editions, among which are Vogue China, Arabia and India and recently Vogue Poland. Vogue launched 125 years ago and it’s only now that they are considering a Vogue Africa? Why now? Is it too little too late?
Speaking to Reuters, Campbell said “We just had Vogue Arabia – it is the next progression… Africa has never had the opportunity to be out there and their fabrics and their materials and their designs be accepted on the global platform… it shouldn’t be that way, people have come to realise it is not about the colour of your skin to define if you can do the job or not.”
I agree with this 110% there are so many talented Visual creators in Africa and the continent has so much history and culture to share with the rest of the world, people have their own perspectives of Africa and they are so incredibly outdated – there are people that still think we live in huts? How ignorant can one be? The world deserves to get to know just how wonderful my continent is, it deserves to see the beautiful people that belong to it, the fact that we don’t place negative stereotypes upon each other instead we celebrate each other and they deserve to see what true diversity it!
What I have come to understand is that the apparent hesitation with launching vogue in Africa is the idea that Africa lacks an adequate luxury market which is a very big misconception, according to a 2015 report by Bloomberg, at the time, Africa’s luxury retail sales represented the second fastest growth rate globally. This can largely be attributed to the presence of new luxury retail locations in South Africa, as well as Nigeria’s increased craving for luxury goods. I feel like in a way Vogue Africa will help to shut down all the misconceptions people have when it comes to Africa but if it does happen I want it to represent every single country on the continent. It needs to be inclusive and I want it to showcase AFRICAN BRANDS because there are so many incredibly talented African designers that just don’t have the funds or the means to become ‘mainstream’ and it is so frustrating when the western world try and essentially copy from us and take credit, for example, earlier this year when Maxhosa by Laduma sued Zara for copying their sock design. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the magazine needs to be 100% authentically African.
Nigerian-born fashion designer Ikire Jones tweeted, “We gotta stop asking folks to let us into their parties when we can throw better ones.
And then there’s this statement! I feel like the world is so focused on becoming westernised that in the process we are forgetting who we really are to the point that we’re constantly looking for approval from these countries. Instead of living up to our own standards we try to live up to theirs – especially when it comes to beauty. It’s so sad seeing African girls lose self-confidence because they don’t fit the norms of western society! We don’t need Vogue, It’s time for us to claim our rightful place as innovators! Why should we wait to be accepted by these institutions? Why should we allow someone else to represent Africa when we ourselves know it best? No one else is going to put in the same passion and love like us. It’s time for us to take charge and create something AMAZING to showcase to the rest of society because Africa is most definitely a force be reckoned with! One day it is going to take over the world and I cannot wait!
So what is your opnion? Should Vogue have the blessing of branching out into Africa?