Less than 3 months after Chanel announced that it would be holding its annual Métiers d’Art fashion show in Dakar, Senegal, Dior has also now disclosed that it would be showing its men’s pre-fall collection in Egypt with the pyramids of Giza as a backdrop.
Both fashion shows are slated to take place in December, with the Chanel show happening on December 6, and Dior’s on December 3.
A decision rooted in necessity
A report published in 2019 makes a case for Egypt as an underrated luxury market, explaining that apart from luxury auto brands, wealthy Egyptians are forced to shop for their preferred luxury goods outside as these brands are not represented in their country.
This is in spite of the fact that Egypt is rather wealthy. It is not only the second richest African country but also the sixth in wealth per capita, making it a regional power (at least economically) in northeast Africa. It is therefore not surprising that Egypt is where Dior has chosen to showcase its men’s pre-fall collection.
Kim Jones’ connection to Africa
Even if Dior did not choose Egypt because of its capacity to develop into a mature luxury market, its men’s artistic director, Kim Jones’ great relationship with the African continent would have seen the luxury fashion house eventually put up a show on the continent. Jones spent time in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania during his childhood and has since been inspired by Africa.
In 2020, he worked with Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo on Dior’s SS21 collection, incorporating the artist’s drawings into pieces of the collection. While this new drop will not follow the same path, according to Dior, “the celestial collection celebrates a lifelong passion for travel.”
A new beginning?
It is remarkable that in just one year, two major luxury houses have announced their decision to hold their shows in Africa. This is besides the Fenty Beauty in Africa launch earlier this year. While these shows appear to be a way of testing the waters, it is clear that the luxury niche now considers Africans necessary, not just as consumers but also as contributors to its growth and sustenance.
We might see legacy luxury houses set up shop here on the continent in the nearest future, but for now, it’s time for us to sit back and simply enjoy the shows.