Nigerian fashion, lifestyle, and portrait photographer Aderopo Afolabi recently worked on a project for his just concluded Master’s programme at Art University Bournemouth in England. 

This project explored African women’s fashion based on the African textile Ankara and highlighted the emergence of African prints across the globe.


According to Aderopo:

Historically, African textiles have played a key role in culture and tradition. As such, the designs serve as historical documents in general. As a means of self-definition, they are the dominant form of expression used by Africans.

African textiles come in varieties, including Ankara, Kente, Iro, Buba, Ukara Ekpe, Adire, Isi Agu and a host of others. These African prints show how rich the African culture is. You can find several fashion brands in Europe and the United States that retail African fabrics.

These brands focus on merging African designs with global trends. The inspiration for these designs stems from a respect for cultural diversity.

We can’t deny that Africans are highly fashionable, and fashion is part of our culture, and these textiles and designs represent who we are and our cultural heritage and background.

We know that African prints are highly regarded globally and have been used in so many creative ways by top designers and fashion houses, and there is no end to their design possibilities. Intending to explore African women’s fashion further, Aderopo took some pictures that perfectly capture the beauty and vibrancy of the Ankara fabrics.

Photography: @Aderopo Afolabi