Given the fact that political influence, associated with newly emerged industrial economies of South-Asia, continues to grow rapidly, it comes as no surprise that such cities as Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo are now being increasingly referred to as “world’s fashion capitals”, along with old-established fashion centers, like Paris, New York, London and Milan. The same can be said about Moscow – the process of Russia’s economy is considerably strengthened in the last decade, had resulted in more and more people consciously choosing in favor of a distinctive “Russian style”, within a context of their strive to look “sharp”. In other words – it is a boom in a particular country’s economy that serves as an objective reason for the country’s political capital to acquire the status of “world’s fashion capital”. Therefore, we cannot help but laugh, while reading the articles that provide us with insight into the fact that, as it appears, even obscure African nations want to be closely associated with the world of fashion, despite the overwhelming majority of citizens in such countries suffering from constant hunger. Evelyn Matsamura’s article “Kampala: Fashion Capital of the World?” discusses a so-called “Uganda’s Fashion Week”, during the course of which, Uganda’s thirty fashion designers had presented the lines of their closing to the public: “While the emphasis was clearly on local talent, designers from further afield also made the journey to Kampala, including Senegal’s Oumou Sy and Mustafa Husanali from Tanzania. The exhibition is intended to become an annual event” (Kamsapura, 2003). According to the article, Uganda’s Prime Minister had visited Kampala’s fashion show, while seriously suggesting that this town is not too far from being referred to as one of the world’s major fashion capitals in the future – as the famous saying goes: ignorance is bliss.
The reason we have mentioned this article in the paper is to show that we cannot discuss fashion outside of the economy. It is only in countries where citizens enjoy high standards of living, that designing new lines of clothing can be a profitable pursuit. Uganda, where people eat cockroaches and trees’ bark for breakfast, cannot be associated with the world of fashion by definition. In fact, even the new world’s fashion centres in Asia, can hardly be described as such that enjoy fully independent status, due to the fact that Asian fashion designers often appear as lacking creativity, which is the reason why their fashion collections can be the least referred to as original.
We need to understand that the very concept of fashion derives from the metaphysical essence of Western civilization, as we know it. In Africa, a grass skirt remained fully fashionable attire for both, men and women, over the course of millennia, without significant alterations being applied to it. This is the reason why leaders of African “nations”, prefer to wear European suits, while in public. Therefore, even such Asian megapolises as Singapore, which annually features an international fashion show, just like Paris, cannot be referred to as the true world’s fashion capital, because Singapore’s fashion designers’ strive to have their clothing adjusted to correspond to particularly Asian mentality, in order to achieve high regional sales. Thus, it will not be an exaggeration, on our part, to suggest that it is namely Paris, Milan, London and New York, will continue to remain the world’s fashion capitals, in the true sense of this word, as designers from specifically these cities appear to dictate fashion trends globally. Such a situation will continue to last until the time when France, Italy, Britain and the U.S. would turn into Third World countries themselves, as a result of being flooded with non-White immigrants.
Matsamura, Evelyn “Kampala: Fashion Capital of the World?”. 2003. Mail @ Guardian Online.