These days I am not even sure whether it is safe to write African wax print since wax print isn’t authentically African. I remember reading about this fact years ago (I think my first year of University) in a book titled ‘Beyond Desire‘. The fabrics which I had grown up with, understood was African and worn a number of times as a testament to being African was actually not African! At the time, I was very distraught. I felt as if I had just uncovered an African secret which should be kept under the rug. To me, wax print belonged to Africa.
I eventually stopped fighting with history and accepted the fact that wax print was a Dutch appropriated version of Indonesian batik which just happened to catch the eye of West Africa over 100 years ago.
Years later, I can’t help but call wax print, African. Africa (in particular West Africa) has taken wax print under her wings and made it her own as if it was made for her. I have no qualms with that!
You can read more about the history of wax print in an article by Eccentric Yoruba on Beyond Victoriana.
I just wanted to get that out of the way!
The reason for this post is, I have noticed an influx in wax print shoes by mainstream labels recently. Last year Aldo had a crack at the prints with the Forwood wedges and Australian shoe label Tony Bianco with the ‘Cabaret heels‘. This year we have seen the printed shoes from Burberry’s Resort collection.
ASOS has now joined the printed band wagon with their Paramount Wedge Court Shoes. Aldo is bringing back the prints with the release of the Strewlow wedge and Mendosa heel plus a matching clutch names Sozzi.
I like the idea of seeing the prints on shoes. It’s cute and different, but you won’t catch me wearing them!