Monday, May 16, 2011

Africa: Dutch Wax Glamour - Clothing and Depicting an African Middle Class

Since 2006, Vlisco, the Holland based maker of quality Dutch Wax print fabrics, has moved itself and its signature prints into the world of high fashion and haute couture. The company's 100-year + history of trading with Africa plus glamor advertising targeted exclusively at the African buyer...

... speaks to the long standing purchasing power of Africa's middle classes, whom an AfDB study released last week referred to as "global consumers" whose spending remained resilient during the global recession, reaching $680 billion in 2008 (pgs 14-15). In the '09 behind the scenes look at the relationship between Africa and the wax print manufacturer below, the company's spokesperson...

People tend to think we produce only for the African market, but they are wrong. Vlisco produces for African consumers wherever they live in Africa, London New York or Tokyo.
Also, when you consider that ads and all forms of marketing, in one iteration or another, make up a considerable portion of representations Africans receive about themselves on a day to day basis, Vlisco's high glamor ads targeted at, and designed to flatter, African consumers (more pics - here/ more ads - here)  becomes ample proof that a marketing landscape responding to growing black economic muscle and clout automatically has a whole lot of positive and glamorous things to tell kids about blackness.

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