Countries like Italy and France are globally known as fashion capitals. However, there are many fashion empires that fly under the radar, like Africa where the Kitenge fashion thrives.
Kitenge is an African textile of thicker quality. It is printed by using spinning machines. It’s a widespread type of dress and is worn traditionally in several occasions by the African people.
The Kitenge clothing is mostly known for its attractive blend of variegated colours and designs that are distinctive of the various tribes across Africa.
In Kenya there is the red Kitenge dress that is worn by the Masai tribal people adorned in red color which represents their love for mother earth.
Kitenge have been transformed into continental attires. It’s a cotton fabric designed into various colours and design through tie-and-dye and heavy embroidery, its generally accepted as the African dress.
Though used in many African countries, Kitenge is yet to be accepted as an official dress as it is mainly worn during ceremonies and non-official functions.
Africa has several types of clothing that are in vogue among the several tribes who inhabit the continent. Kitenge is a time-honored dress that is popular in almost all the African countries.
Justine Mukandahiro, Kigali based designer says Kitenge fashion speaks a language that is shared world-wide.
“Although African’s mode of dress may not be common ground in well established fashion empires, it is slowly climbing to gain a reputation of its own,” says Mukandahiro. “A Kitenge fabric has broken down the African fashion barrier. It has created unique designs, wearable clothing with authentic African aesthetics.”
Kitenge is worn from adventurous, colourful, plains of Egypt, Ivory Coast and the remote areas of DRC to Central Africa, the wilds of Kenya, the sands of Dakar and to the shores of Lagos and Pretoria.