Sandiso Ngubane (one of my favourite local fashion bloggers) is on the pulse of the story and covered snippets of it, read the full version here. It is one of many debates about Africa's stance on the global hierarchy of fashion capitals.
My opinion? This is a sensitive and confusing issue.
As pointed out in the article; when will Africa start buying into their own and stop seeking validation from western-derived publications?
On the flip side, also noted in the article: are we going to isolate ourselves so that we can be "unique"?
We're subscribing to so many other western material which does not seem to be an issue (a rather careless statement by me but read on before attacking), why should this be one? Are we seeking validation by buying a franchise? (just a regular KFC or McDonald Franchise for example) NO! (okay, yes but no!)
Instead, and this is the crux of my argument, I think this is just a different platform upon which the African label gets recognition. It offers, for those who are into this, an excellent weapon for comparison: Vogue Africa vs Vogue Russia vs Vogue USA vs Vogue UK - which will prove to the African-sceptics that Africa IS THE HEART of fashion (why else would so many designers flock here to find inspiration if that's not the case)? It is a fantastic platform which will afford fellow Africans (who lack patriotism) the chance to engage with patriotic Africans on grounds non-patriotic Africans are comfortable with. This will accelerate Africa's Fashion Scene and this is thrilling. How can anyone oppose that?
Here's another insightful article that is a must read on this debacle - this covers the logistics (marketing, advertising) with quotes from Vanessa Raphaely of Associated Magazines.
WELL DONE Mario! With Controversy shall come merit!
pics courtesy of http://fashionbombdaily.com/ and thank you Sandiso Ngubane