The Designer Exploring African Stories Through Traditional Fabrics
When the fashion world talks about “traditional” it is usually a reference to the African American style, traditionally associated with clothing crafted from “woven fabrics” and “spun cotton” in a “traditional way”—i.e. not by hand, but on looms.
What might be happening at the moment in the fashion industry is a return to more traditional weaving processes. Over the past several years, a few major designers have been experimenting with different methods of weaving in order to make sure their fabrics are not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing.
This year at Yona Fashion, the Italian-owned company is putting traditional weaving to practical use—by re-creating garments in which it can be the main designer, along with custom tailoring, to create garments that are as “traditional” as possible. This, according to Yona, is because the company’s fabrics are not manufactured with non-renewable resources, their work is not done by hand and their production methods are environmentally responsible. “We are the perfect example of a fashion brand that uses the highest-quality materials while striving for sustainability,” says Yona Fashion’s Director of Design, Fabrizio Chiesa.
In creating the modern Yona, the company is also trying to redefine traditional methods. “We don’t just make clothes using traditional fabrics. We make modern clothes using traditional and traditional-inspired styles that we are going back to as much as possible,” says Chiesa.
It’s a project that looks to be a little bit of a return to the past—a look back to the days of “tussore lace” and “mohair”, from over 100 years ago. “Because we are involved in a sustainable trend, we have a tradition of not being able to use