Fashion and Tech Merge to Create Iconic African Designs

Three iconic African fashion designers were brought on board to create twelve extraordinary outfits from vast amounts of data extracted from the cities of Nairobi, Lagos, and Johannesburg.

The fashion and technology world has joined forces and has created a thought provoking project that exhibits how data can transform African cities.

Technology giant, Siemens extracted data from Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos and wove them into specially made fabrics, the finished products tell a story about the individual cities.

The next step of the project was down to established African fashion designers who used the created fabrics to design and create unique garments.

The three major fashion designers who collaborated on this project are John Kaveke (Kenya), Zizi Cardow (Nigeria) and Palesa Mokubung (South Africa).

The talented trio created 12 astounding attires using the vast amounts of data extracted from their three cities.

Lagos-based Zizi Cardow said: “It’s time Africa equipped itself with information. Africa is often overlooked in terms of technology and science so pushing forward on these incredibly important aspects is the next step to propel the continent. Having more data about Africa means understanding our nations better and equipping ourselves to solve the problems we face.”

The finished product of this idea was recently launched in South Africa. The results showcase how digitalisation of the industrial world is fast becoming the biggest transformation of our time, and highlights how data combined with smart technology will ensure that tomorrow’s cities are more connected, efficient and powered.

The garments outline a series of patterns taken from the power grids, shipping and tonnage to populate densities, transport and areas of connectivity. The collated data tells a powerful narrative of how the cities can be transformed by technology.

“This is how we thought to express the aspect of digitalisation. As urbanisation rapidly increases, cities need to start preparing for the effects it will have on infrastructure, energy, water and transportation systems,” said Keshin Govender, Group Communications Head for Siemens South Africa.

Data gives greater insight on how the cities function, it helps to make clear and calculated decisions and makes ways to improve the service provided for the nation’s inhabitants.

“This project has highlighted the need for access to data in order to make sound urban planning decisions,” explained Govender.

Tech giant, Siemens is well positioned in automation, electrification and digitalisation to find solutions to the various challenges of today. It is in a unique position and will be able to unlock and reveal the full potential of digitalisation through its combination of digital expertise, domain know-how and understanding of hardware in order to leverage digital technologies and optimize operations.

This ingenuity will create new opportunities for Africa in new sectors that might not have been previously able to fully realise their potential such as energy, manufacturing and transportation. It will give the nations the chance to establish and develop themselves in these industries.

It is hoped that the opportunity will provide new jobs and skills development for the masses, as well as contributing to the GDP.

This project shows the great possibilities that can occur when fashion, technology and great minds comes together.