Gone are the days when all the fashion world wanted from Africa were its textiles
African designers are taking the world stage by storm, making a name for themselves with their innovative creations.
Here are 14 of those designers from across the continent to watch out for....
NANA BRENU, GHANA
Nana is the brain behind the brand, 1981, which was conceived in his quest for equilibrium between two highly contrasting genres of style. The first being his Ghanaian heritage characterised by vibrant colours and bold prints in contrast to his modern minimalistic design sensibilities that is highly influenced by modern art, design and architecture.
ALICE HEUSSER & OLIVIA KENNAWAY, SOUTH AFRICA & KENYA
Alice and Olivia met at fashion school in Cape Town and since launched the Lalesso label which emphasises traditional East African craftsmanship and textiles, producing a luxury African fashion and lifestyle brand which oozes effortless “beach” chic. The business model is transparent, sustainable, and relies on ethical production facilities in Kenya and South Africa.
ADEBAYO OKE-LAWAL, NIGERIA
Adebayo Oke-Lawal describes Orange Culture as a “movement” more than a clothing line. The brand has been a finalist for huge designs platforms like the Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessey prize – where he was picked alongside 29 other emerging designers from all over the world out of 1221.
Here the Orange Culture designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal (R) and a model wearing his designs.
AOBAKWE MOLOSIWA, BOTSWANA
Aobakwe studied fashion at Linea Academy, a fashion school in Durban, South Africa. His first big break came a few months after his graduation when he was given the opportunity to showcase a full collection at Gaborone Fashion Weekend. He was also a nominee of the “St. Louis Export Top 40 Under 40” 2013 list of movers and shakers in Botswana. Today, he is the creative mind behind the brand “Gilded Sands”.
CHRISTINE MHANDO, TANZANIA
Tanzanian-born designer Mhando is a master at using traditional kanga fabric in versatile ways. Having studied fashion in the UK, she focuses on blending African elements into edgy Western wear.
NDEY FATOU CEESAY, GAMBIA
Following in the footsteps of her designer mother, NdeyFatou started NOIR in 2014, a clothing line turned boutique, which boasts a highly appealing mixture of bohemian chic with west african inspired detailing. Her debut collection went on to also hit the runway at the Gambian Fashion Weekend later that year. This unique blend of African and contemporary designs has commanded quite a following.