Renowned Swedish photographer Pers-Anders Petterson brilliantly chronicles the vibrant, rapidly growing world of the African fashion scene from 2010-2016 in his acclaimed book, African Catwalk. The 168 page book contains 80 color illustrations carefully selected from his vast library of images.
Petterson wanted to challenge stereotypes and dispel myths about both the African fashion industry and the continent itself. Using photos taken between 2010 and 2016, he shows the fashion and the behind-the-scenes action in the burgeoning industry.
Spanning 16 countries, African Catwalk reveals the continent in a new and unique way.
One misconception Pettersen tackles is the western belief that the African continent remains ravaged by war, decimated by poverty, and crippled by disease.
He also shatters the belief that African fashion is little more than glorified ethnic designs and animal skin prints. The fashions depicted speak to a level of creativity and artistry little expected by Western fashion enthusiasts. Nevertheless they are gaining international attention and praise.
Pettersen’s aims reached higher than even these goals. He wanted the world to realize how Africa is growing economically as a continent. Part of the reason the fashion industry is growing at such a great rate is because there is more cash flow. There are also more goods and services within the range of more people, and education is on the rise. All of these factors push back against stereotypes and show a more positive, balanced view of Africa than may be found in common western portrayals.
Pers-Anders Pettersen is no stranger to the African continent. In the fall of 2013, Dewi Lewis Publishing presented Rainbow Transit, his first book. In it he depicted African democracy through insightful and thought-provoking photographs. It met with widespread praise and garnered a groundbreaking tour through several European countries and South Africa. Pettersen has won numerous awards including Unicef Photo of the Year and prizes from World Press Photo, American Photography, and Commarts, to name a few.