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Short Course: History of African and Diaspora Fashion

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. 


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.

Course Description


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.


This course is particularly meaningful to the fashion community, not only as an added source of knowledge and preserving African savoir-faire but also as a means of building meaningful relationships that bring African culture and craftsmanship to the forefront as a significant innovator.

Applications for the course will open in January 2023. You can register your interest by clicking on the button below, to get notified once applications open. 

Course Prospectus

HOADF Course Prospectus.png

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. 


What are the requirements for joining?

Over 18, Valid ID, Gmail account, laptop and access to strong and reliable wifi.


Is there a fee involved or do you have to pay to join the short course?

Yes, there is a $50 fee to access the course.

How many modules are in the course?

To date, we have 17 modules 

Must I attend every class?

Yes, we have an attendance target of 96%. If you meet less than this, you will not be eligible to receive a certificate of completion.

What do I need for the application, and how long will the process take?

You will need to submit a CV and proof of English proficiency and fill out questions regarding your previous experience and background. The process takes roughly 4 weeks from application to notification of whether you are accepted. 

When does the short course start?

The course will commence in April 2023.

Who is the course for? 

The course is for anyone interested in learning about African and Afro-diasporan fashion history. 

What qualifications are required before applying for the course? 

No qualifications are required.

What language will the course be delivered in?



Is the course video based? 

The course is a combination of video, text, pdf’s, external resources, and  infographics.

How much time is required for the programme?

Typically, you will be required to dedicate a minimum of 4 hours every week to the course.

Okay, this sounds great! I want to apply. How do I do it?

Click here to apply

Will I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes. All students will be awarded certificates upon completing all the necessary requirements stipulated in the course handbook.

Can I withdraw from a course? 

Yes, you can.

I am an educator. Can I apply to lead a module in the course?

Kindly email us at to find out about vacancies 


Can I apply for the course halfway through the term or after the start date? 

No. You will have to apply for the next intake to join the course. 


Will the course be live? 

The course is asynchronous, and this is done to accommodate all learners and make the completion of the course as smooth as possible. Specifically, time zone differences, learning disabilities such as dyslexia, and internet connectivity issues.

Still have a question?

Email us at to speak to a member of our team.

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