The Ankara Renaissance
Ankara have become a major material in fashion expression in Africa. Nigerian fashion environment have continued to witness great and eye popping designs from the highly versatile and world renowned Ankara fabrics. With several global fashion Icons like Naomi Campbell and Stella McCartney embracing the Ankara lore many more nigerians have become Ankaracentric in their looks.
One of the major fabrics adopted in Southwestern and Northern Nigeria, Ankara used to be known as the most used fabric in Lagos and Ibadan. It’s relatively colourful appearance and low cost comparable with other fabrics occasioned the growth of Local production of Ankara in Lagos, and Ibadan in the early 1960s. The growth of the Aswani fabric market in Lagos, and several markets in Ibadan, attested to the love of the Yoruba for these fabrics.
However, the arrival of cheaper ready to wear European attires in the eighties and nineties sounded the knell on the Popularity of this fabric. This has led to the gradual collapse of the Ankara Industry before the end of the last decade. The turn of the century occasioned high youth radicalisation and return to nationalism in Africa. Most African youth embraced local industry and the fashion industry resurfaced from hibernation.
Ankara fabric was one of the beneficiaries of the youth renaissance and today, the Ankara has gradually become the number one status symbol in youth nationalist expression. This has increased works based on Ankara Fabrics and influenced local Designers embracing Ankara as the main inspirations for colourful Apparels.