Photographer Per-Anders Pettersson documents the emerging African fashion industry in exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs. From 2010 to 2015 he has visited about sixteen countries, more than forty fashion events, and gotten exclusive access to many designers on the continent.
African culture has always been seen as being influential anthropologically, but this book shows it as a fashion presence in its own right. South Africa has an established fashion scene and runs six fashion weeks year; others are held in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Ghana.
African models are discovered at these events—many of them dream of becoming the next Naomi Campbell or Alek Wek. The middle-class and newly rich in Africa spend their money on foreign brands but local brands are trying to catch up, for example the Smarteez designers in Soweto, South Africa, or the Sapeurs in Kinshasa, DRC. Some of the most talented and internationally successful African designers are Duro Olowu, David Tlale, Gavin Rajah, Thula Sindi, Taibo Bacar, Deola Sagoe, Folake, and Lisa Folawiyo.
Swedish born Per-Anders Pettersson (born 1967) is an award winning photographer—World Press Photo, PDN, POY, NPPA, CARE, CHIPP, Unicef Photo of the Year, American Photography, and Commarts—based in Cape Town, South Africa. He has exhibited at festivals and galleries around the world, for example, “Amazon”, a two-person show with Sebastião Salgado at Somerset House, London, 2011. In 2013 he published his first book, Rainbow Transit, a look at South Africa in Democracy.