With African Fashion Month on the horizon, here’s our guide to discovering your sartorial archetype before heading to the shows.
October 6, 2022
There’s a lot to love about fashion week—getting inspiration from some of the industry’s most talented designers, networking with interesting people, seeing the latest collections, and, of course, people-watching. And, if you pay close enough attention, you’ll start to notice a few recurring fashion week characters—personalities that offer as much of a social spectacle as a sartorial one. You may, in fact, even embody one of these personas yourself. But the question is; which one?
Below, discover the four archetypes you’re bound to bump into or personify, as well as a few curated ensembles that we think define them. Shop the full collection of looks (and more) here.
THE AFTER-PARTY AFICIONADO
Never one to pass up the opportunity to make an entrance and turn a few heads, the After-Party Aficionado favors all things glamorous and glitzy, turning to bold colors, eclectic prints, and experimental tailoring at any and every opportunity. The actual runway shows are never as much of a priority as the soirées that follow them are for this attendee. With sparkles and embellishments being right up her alley, this is where she shines. Sound anything like you? In that case, we suggest hitting up that blow-out in the Con (Fetti) Vintage Dress by Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo. It’s a show-stopping cotton and silk statement piece that was made to stand out. The bold and sculptural Glorious Pochette clutch bag from Margaux Wong lends this look a commanding and powerful energy while the addition of more subtle accessories like Maliko’s Isabel Sandals and Pichulik’s Nova Earrings allow Folawiyo’s mesmerizing frock to take center stage.
THE FRONT ROW FIXTURE
As the name suggests, this Fashion Week attendee is always seated right in the middle of the action. She’s never not at the top of the guest list and her presence at the most anticipated shows of the season is pretty much a non-negotiable. Effortlessly stylish, she’s the furthest thing from a fickle fashionista, turning instead to items that are classic and will stand the test of time. And though she prefers informed refinement over trendiness, a sense of eclecticism still runs through her every look. The pairing of Gozel Green’s Jazzy Girl Patchwork Skirt with IAMISIGO’s Short Sleeve Fringe Detail Jacket possesses all the touches one would expect of this archetype’s style. Its color palette (black and green), materiality (satin crepe, denim, jute, and raffia), and subtle details (fringing and patchwork) all come together to create a look that’s authoritative, elegant, and edgy—perfect for showcasing a pair of statement heels like Loza Maléombho’s Thila Heel. Luxe takes on minimalism in the form of Yeba’s Black Oshu Mini Bag and Pichulik’s Black and Beige Circe bracelet tie it all together with ease.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA STAR
This one’s got a job to do and that's to keep her followers abreast of all the biggest trends and most talked about moments of the season. Glued to her phone as she snaps pics and shoots video content for Instagram and TikTok, her focus is firmly on community-building and engaging with audiences digitally. But don’t for one second think this means her outfit is an after thought because how on earth is she supposed to influence anyone online without offering them some kind of style inspiration? Heavily influenced by internet trends, a matching, tye-dyed set is likely just up her alley. In this regard, Kente Gentlemen’s Djedje I Pants and Ernesto I Shirt offer a retro yet tailored spin on the trend as well as a level of comfort that’ll keep her going all day. Subtle accessories that won’t draw attention from the drama and vibrance of the pink and purple set is all that’s called for here. Bôhten Blanc Sun Exstel Sunglasses, Pichulik’s Beige Noor Earrings, and Ohiri’s Outlines Nail Ring make for the ideal toned-down trimmings, while Maliko’s Ebele Slippers lend the ensemble a requisite touch of polish.
THE STREET STYLE SUPREME
We all know this Fashion Week archetype. She’s the one whose looks litter the Instagram pages of street-style photographers. She’s the one whose effortlessly pulled-together ensembles look as if they’re plucked straight from the pages of Vogue yet were more than likely just instinctively thrown together in a flash. Is she a model? Is she an editor? Is she a socialite? Who knows? What’s certain though is that the cameras will be furiously flashing as she makes her way to the next show. Elevated basics define the Street Style Supreme’s aesthetic and UNI FORM’s Collarless Blazer is an exemplary example of this. With its flawless tailoring and oversized fit, the versatile garment is the perfect partner for Fruché’s deconstructed Prototype Jeans and Vivers’ Crochet Color Block Top, the blending of a classic item with more on-trend pieces exuding an air of uncomplicated cool. Off-kilter accessories like Ohiri’s Outlines Earcuff and Maliko’s Ng Top-Handle Bag play up this archetype's penchant for the unexpected while Orange Culture’s Bridge Rope Sandies add an element of timeless minimalism.
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