The second-largest continent in the world, Africa has 54 countries that offer a diverse range of fashion trends. For centuries, African and Arabian heritage and history have been intertwined but never has been as stylish and as colorful as today. With the growth of the African expat community in the UAE and as online shopping has made the global market more accessible, the demand and appeal for African fashion has increased. African-inspired fashion has created a worldwide impact, and its presence has grown exponentially as the world has become aware of the creative forces in the African continent.


For African fashion entrepreneurs looking to establish operations in the Middle East region, Dubai offers several advantages. Its attractive free zones, world-class logistics facilities, state-of-the-art infrastructure, business-friendly environment, and ease of access to other markets making it an ideal location to market the bold and colorful African fashion. Dubai is a major hub that links Africa to the Middle East, South-East Asia, and the rest of the world through the Dubai International Airport. This is the largest airline hub in the Middle East region, and Jebel Ali Port, its largest port terminal.


African clothing, both traditional and modern, differs in style compared to clothing from other parts of the world. Often vibrant colored, African fashion is inspired by the lush nature, languages, wildlife, culture, food, and music. There are numerous bright hues of African fashion that are also popular across the world.


African fashion has always maintained a bold and beautiful approach drawing inspiration from life on the continent. Here, we’ll explore African clothing’s fashion trends in 2021, making it easier for you to integrate African clothing into your wardrobe.

African Fashion and Textiles

African Womenswear Trends in 2021

Originally from Nigerian and commonly worn in West Africa, Dashiki is a popular loose-fitting V-neck t-shirt. Worn by adults and children, Dashiki is also known as Makenzi in East Africa and Angelina in West Africa. It has a decorative pattern on the fabric near the sleeves and neckline. It is also used to make shirts for men and dresses for women to be worn during special occasions.

Statement Sleeves

Puffy statement sleeves make blouses and dresses get a stylish, fun, girly, elegant, and sophisticated look. There are different types of big sleeves, like the bell and trumpet sleeves. The loud and dramatic puffy sleeves such as large frills and ruffles are a great way to get noticed and make a fashion statement. In contrast, bishop-style sleeves are much simpler, softer, and achieve a feminine yet bold. With the statement sleeves, it is recommended to maintain the rest of the look at a minimal and classic look to avoid taking attention away from the sleeves or looking overly fussy.

A popular trend in the 1980s, ‘off the shoulder’ remains a stylish African way to make a fashion statement, and it is here to stay.  A unique and versatile design that is easy to style and popular with long-length dresses and tops, ‘off the shoulder’ transforms a simple outfit into a more attractive look by adding glam and elegance.

Off The Shoulder
Side Slits

A well-liked fashion trend, side slits are a stunning feature for long dresses and skirts. Side slits help make you appear taller by elongating elongate your silhouette. The slit shouldn’t be too high or low and should show the right amount of leg.

Traditionally from Japan, Kimono was quickly embraced in Africa due to the hot and humid climate experienced in most African countries. A cool and comfortable garment, Kimono remains a fashionable African style for 2021. Available in a variety of materials such as cotton, silk, and satin, Kimonos come in different sizes and transform any outfit. Depending on the design, they are suitable for casual and eveningwear. Kimono can also be worn as a dress on its own instead of having it as a layer of clothing.


African Menswear Trends in 2021

One of the popular Men’s African fashion trends is the bold animal prints such as cheetah spots and zebra stripes. Animal print shorts and t-shirts portray confidence, and they look classy when paired with bright colors.

Animal Print

Commonly worn in West and North Africa, the kaftan is a traditional long and loose garment. Ideal for special occasions or casual wear, kaftans are available in plain or decorated designs, with the decorations usually on the center front.  Kaftan can also be long, almost resembling a dress, and may even have brocade embroidery.


With the unveiling of, Dubai-based African fashion lovers will have a dedicated platform that connects fashion creators with connoisseurs in the Middle East. Ukenia spoils you for choice with its wide variety of trendy custom-made clothes for all seasons. By choosing Ukenia, you get to enjoy exclusive discounts, offers and gifts. You’ll also get free and early access to key events such as exclusive brand launches.