Africanism in Fashion Design

The power of clothing is one of the biggest things in indigenous knowledge. We know that clothes had function. Patterns and accessories served a purpose in the hierarchy of our ancestors communities. Our clothes have always carried meaning. 

– Phetogo Gift

Kgosi Phetogo Kgakgamatso Gift Kgosierileng is the creator of the ‘No Modern Slave’ clothing range. This South African fashion artist is an advocate for empowering African people through indigenous African design. His work expresses authentic, pre-colonial Africa and highlights the beauty of indigenous African knowledge.

In this interview with Zani Tsabedze, he explains his creative process and how he incorporates his spirituality into his creative work.

His clothing range, No Modern Slave, represents breaking away from slavery of the identity. It advocates finding validation in our own indigenous aesthetic, taking pride in our truth and finding confidence in what makes us African. 

No Modern Slave is a movement. It’s an advocacy of African indigenous “fashion”. It’s more legacy-based than hit-based. It’s not about becoming famous or getting recognition now, it’s about building the foundations for a legacy. We may not have all that much information on African indigenous fashion from our past, but our children will have a point of reference as to what Indigenous Africa looks and feels like because of the indigenous knowledge that we’re showcasing now. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are not taking it from the Western perception of Africa but from our own understanding of our ancestors and what we believe our true African identity to be. We cannot continue to fall for what is fed to us by those who don’t even know the truth about us. 

– Phetogo Gift

Follow @nomodernslave on instagram for more of this range.

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