The top menswear trends for 2023 as observed at Africa Fashion Month

Around Africa, runway events, industry conferences, and fashion presentations have all started to take place in October. The greatest designers on the continent get to show their collections for the upcoming season during fashion weeks all across the continent, from South Africa Fashion Week to Glitz Africa Fashion Week in Ghana all the way down to Lagos Fashion Week. As with anything African, the looks shown each season usually have a lot of creative energy, with equal parts storytelling and understanding of culture.

After Lagos Fashion Week concluded this year’s fashion month celebration in Africa, we looked back at the styles that dominated the catwalks there.

Nobody was surprised by the innovative approaches to conventional tailoring, the dominance of colour bursts, or the surprising returns of draperies and embroidered details. You shouldn’t wait until next year to update your wardrobe with these trends since these menswear trends are ready to transcend the catwalks and find their way into numerous essential ensembles and #outfitpics that will be popular well into the future.

Continue reading as we break down our top picks for the most notable menswear styles for 2023 as seen at the shows from Africa’s Fashion Month.

stitching in contrast
Contrasting topstitching, which was trendy in 2007 and was seen everywhere from South Africa to Lagos, made a comeback this season. Consider strong, outspoken stitches that are employed in menswear as both an utilitarian and an aesthetically pleasing aspect. Small but elaborate stitching details are making a major impression throughout varied collections offered by African designers.

For her ALC Man Autumn-Winter collection, designer Amanda Laird Cherry sent male models down the catwalk in South Africa wearing attire with contrasting topstitch accents.

An all-denim jumpsuit, a blue gilet worn over a long-sleeved shirt, and other outfits showcase the detail. On another part of the runway, Ntando XV showcased a black tunic with contrast stitching that was paired with leggings. Calvin Lunga’s Czene label’s styles made a statement with violet top stitching as well.

Imagine using the same stitching method on shirts and wide-legged jorts in dark indigo during TJ WHO’s Lagos Fashion Week show. The Nigerian designer’s investigation into the contrast stitching trend adds still another level of complexity to his already complex collection by elevating the patch pockets, necklines, and hems on his pieces.

What will menswear be in 2022 without neo-tailoring? For their collections this season, a number of designers from the sub-region explored the neo-tailoring trend. Many designs featured an updated and inventive tailoring that was enhanced by delicate accents throughout the exhibitions that took place during Africa’s fashion month. TJ WHO included neo-tailoring into his collection in Lagos.

This season, the company has used neo-tailoring to create suits with deconstructed sleeves, cropped jackets, and avant-garde designs, among other things. When it comes to the jackets and wide-legged pants at Lagos Space Programme, neo-tailoring is visible in the eye-catching french lace, pinstripes, and floral designs that reflected both conventional male tailoring and notions of airy details. Emmy Kasbit also demonstrated neo-tailoring in vibrantly matched sets and outfits that contrast with transparent and shimmering garments.

Elegant drapes
Drapes, a near relative of neo-tailoring, dominated the African fashion month runways in place of the customary crisp conventional menswear shapes.

This season, designers like JZO, Bloke, and Uyo Monye all sent elegant draperies down the runways. Bloke exhibited separates and coordinated sets with extremely rigid shapes and timeless items that stand out thanks to dramatic drapings.
Bloke’s interpretation of dandy drapes is shown in an outfit that combines a shirt paired with a no-belt-loops tailored trouser that has a draped and gathered hem. The ensemble has a theme of luxury meets streetwear. The fashion for JZO was proportional pants and clothes. In one outfit, a shirt has drapes for a collar, and drapes are prominent once again in a pair of pants that are meant to resemble togas and are paired with tops with black and white prints.

A rainbow of hues
Even in 2023, colour will continue to rule the menswear world. The runways showed us that bright outfits will be popular next year. Colors are still significant for menswear heading into the upcoming year, as seen by Geto Clothing’s pink marble two-piece and Kadiju’s colourful Cuban collar shirts all the way down to Maxhosa’s knits.

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