African fashion is taking centre stage worldwide. With more and more designers finding inspiration in traditional African styles, traditional elements can be seen in even the most high end designs and collections.
African inspired fashion and designs that come straight from the heart of Africa have long been admired and should be given credit where credit is due. Read on to discover the top 10 most influential African fashion designers and brands for 2018...
1. David Tlale
Well known for his bold and unique designs, David Tlale is described as one of the most creative fashion designers of our time. With unpredictable designs, David is constantly pushing the boundaries and surprising the industry.
Credit : http://www.davidtlale.com/en/
His striking designs are unusual, but wearable, making them in high demand around the world. The South African designer’s work has been show cased at the likes of Cape Town Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week and has designed collections for major retailers.
Senegalese born fashion designerAdama Amanda Ndiayeowns her own label – Adama Paris. Adama says that she created her label due to her desire to share her passion for fashion, as well as fulfilling her will for displaying diversity.
Credit : http://www.adamaparis.com/
In addition to her designs, Adama also launched Dakar Fashion Week to ‘share modern African fashion with the rest of the world, and highlight the savoir-faire of my African peers’.
TheAdama Pariscollections feature bold use of colour and fabrics inspired by travel. Adama says that her aim is ‘sharing with all modern women one fashion without boarders’.
3. Christie Brown
Christie Brown is the brainchild of Ghanaian-born Aisha Obuobi. Focusing on using traditional wax materials, Christie Brown creates standout pieces using iconic African fabrics.
Credit : http://www.christiebrownonline.com/
The most recent collections include cotton materials and tie-dye patterns. Aiming to satisfy that stylish urge, the brand was created for ‘the modern woman who seeks a true taste of Africa’. Christie Brownprides themselves on infusing modernism with carefully selected traditional African fabrics. The idea is to allow women to experience the opulent and culturally rich side of Africa, without having to compromise their own 21stcentury contemporary style.
Seeing great success so far, Christie Brown won The Emerging Designer of the Year Award in 2009, and was also the only Ghanaian label selected to showcase in the Arise L'Afrique- a- Porter, in Paris. After just a few short years in the industry, Christie Brown has created a strong presence.
As one of the top fashion brands in Nigeria, Deola Sagoe is the queen of haute couture fashion. The designer uses her unique gift to bring out elements of African culture in her pieces, which has resulted in her work being celebrated around the world.
Credit : GLAMSQUAD MAGAZINE
Her latest collection features unique designs, rich hues and undoubtable elegance. Deola Sagoe even has celebrity clients, including Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith. Back in 2005, she was the first black woman to present a collection at Alta Roma, and has been working in the Nigerian fashion industry since 1989.
Today she is established as a leading lady of Nigerian fashion. Deola’s aim is to create that perfect hourglass shape in couture dressing. Very clever use of fabrics and prints makes her designs super flattering and highly sought after.
5. Loin Clothes and Ashes
Loved by the quintessential African woman, Lion Clothes and Ashes has been specifically created for the modern woman who loves to look stylish and edgy each and every day.
Credits : Loin Clothes and Ashes
The brand draws inspiration from history, culture and architecture to create a timeless and beautiful collection. Created by Malembo Mpungwe, the first black woman to win the Elle New Talent Show, it’s clear to see why the brand breaks boundaries and is making a strong name for themselves.
Founded in 2008, the brand continues to design for women who want functional, modern and relevant design with a Neo African point of view. Creating pieces that are made to last beyond each season, Loin Clothes and Ashes focus on everyday essentials to make a statement. Inspired by different African stories, the brand aim to replicate the African culture in a modern way.
Sika’a is an African inspired fashion house. Putting emphasis on tailoring, Sika’a is designed for the 21stcentury woman. Using eclectic custom-sourced African fabrics, Sika’a bring traditional african style into the 21stcentury.
Sika’a take traditional African wear and add a contemporary twist, creating pieces that are unique and striking. Designed to be wearable and interchangeable, the designs from Sika’a includes dresses, playsuits, jumpsuits, shorts, trousers, jackets and coats.
The brand believes in promoting a positive image from Africa, by working with its creative and hard working people. Using premium quality wax prints and renowned Africa designers, Sika’a works to bring you a modern collection with traditional influence.
The latest clothing line by Loza Maleombho ‘LM’ is developed and produced in Ivory Coast. Inspired by African cultural heritage, the designersays that in Ivory-Coast there is nearly 60 ethnic groups alone, and that all of them hold an aesthetic heritage that isn’t often used in fashion. The designer wanted to highlight the value of these groups, and decided to reflect this in her designers.
The latest collection is inspired by Zaouli masks, and uses 100% natural fabrics, raffia, cotton weavings and jute canvas all made by craftsmen. To create a modern update, the collection has been associated with American cuts.
Maleombho sees fashion as an artistic expression, which is displayed in her designs.
8. Maki Oh
Maki Oh is the creation of young designer Amaka Osakwe. Showcasing her talent for achieving balance between playful and classically chic, the 26-year-old designer lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.
Known as a rising young star in Africa’s fashion circle, Amaka’s designs have been seen on the runways worldwide, including New York and South Africa. Her Spring/Summer ‘18 collection includes customised sink and satin fabrics in lady like styles.
Known for creating styles that seem to have dream like influences, Amaka is taking inspiration from much closer to home in her latest collections. Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, her designs are still ultra-feminine, but have taken on traditional prints and slightly oversized tailoring that reflects the local fashion industry.
9.Jewel By Lisa
Jewel by Lisa Folawiyo is a multi-faceted global womenswear and accessories collection. Founded by designer Lisa Folawiyo, the brand uses Ankara, a local West African cloth and combines with ornate embellishment to create a totally unique look.
Credit : http://www.lisafolawiyo.com/
The collections incorporate modern textures with traditional textiles, and it’s this design hybrid that has lead to global success for the brand. Worn by celebrities and worldwide icons, Lisa uses Swarovski crystalswith Ankara to create fun, vibrant and wearable garments and accessories.
Born in Nigera, Doru Olowu is a Nigerian born Lawyer turned fashion designer. Based in London since 2004, Doru is becoming more and more renowned as the years go by. Known for his use of bright colours, exquisite and well defined cuts and vintage prints, his designs are instantly recognizable.
Credit : http://duroolowu.com/
His pieces have attracted a high calibre of customer,including Michelle Obama. In addition Doru Olowu was also awarded designer of the year at the British Fashion Awards.
With so many fantastic brands and designers emerging from Africa, and using the African culture as their inspiration, we are proud to be part of such an iconic industry. Which African brands do you rely on for stylish and contemporary pieces?
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