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Introductory Course: History of African and Diaspora Fashion

Course Description

Stories of African fashion span millennia, from the ancient Egyptians to the Masaai tribes of Kenya to the Quilombola community in Brazil. These stories are passed down from generation to generation in the form of textiles, fabrics, artefacts, and much more. In this short course, we will explore the nuances of fashion across the African continent and diaspora and a contemporary outlook on African fashion today. We aim to demystify the intricacies of African fashion and dispel monolithic ideas that have been erroneously propagated for far too long. The Council for International African Fashion Education's (CIAFE) missions include closing the knowledge gap and decolonising the fashion curriculum, and through this course, we plan to do just that.

In recent years, we have seen projects highlighting African fashion on a global stage and in parallel, we’ve seen the rise of African and diasporic designers across the globe. There is a growing interest in African fashion, and we plan to unearth the history of some of the most well-known elements of the industry but also shine a light on the less documented ones. In this course, we’ll be also looking at pioneers, innovators and changemakers. Each module will cover a specific area of the continent or diaspora and will explore historical events, indigenous crafting practices, national garments and other qualities unique to that area. With the African continent and diaspora being so vast, we will look at the differences between these regions in themes such as cultural norms, religion, symbolism, utility, and more. 

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In this first-of-its-kind course, you will also get an opportunity to learn from industry experts and esteemed educators who will explore key elements of the relevance of the history of African and diaspora fashion. This short course provides a unique opportunity to travel through several aspects of style from different corners of Africa and the diaspora.


The history of African and Diaspora fashion course has been designed to explore the rich history and culture of the fashion industry from various regions on the African continent and in the Diaspora. The course examines the foundations of Afro and Black fashion practices to create a link between the historical antecedents and the global fashion industry as we know it today.


If you enrol in this programme, your curriculum will cover the history of fashion on the continent and in various regions of the Diaspora, the business of the Afro-fashion industry and its influences on contemporary practices, and the history of African fashion on the continent and in the Diaspora. 

Download The Course Prospectus Now

The History of African and Diaspora Fashion course prospectus provides detailed information on the content of the programme and gives you an overview of what you can expect to learn.


The prospectus also provides detailed information about the course's modules, objectives, how to enrol, the mode of study and answers frequently asked questions about the course. ​

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