Africa has a vibrant and emerging fashion scene with many new and established contemporary African fashion designers hitting the global stage in a spectacular way. With that being said, you might be interested in finding out who to watch out for and what you need to know. So here, we bring you 10 names that we should all be keeping an eye on if we want to make an African-inspired fashion statement.
Top Ten Contemporary African Fashion Designers
Laduma has undoubtedly made his presence felt in the fashion industry for a while now. MaXhosa by Laduma is now a name hugely popular for striking and contemporary knitwear. While drawing inspiration from the Xhosa rite of passage, Laduma successfully carries this through his bold collection of knitwear.
In like manner, Lisa has gained international success through her transformation of ‘Ankara’ a local West African cloth. Specifically creating a highly covetable print, which is further handcrafted with over 240 hours of ornate embellishment by expert artisans to create her stunning pieces.
Notably, Ayissi successfully blends African tribal art with Parisian Haute Couture to create his highly successful collection of couture and prêt-à-porter lines. Having worked as a successful model for top fashion houses, Imane is now bringing his vision to us through his own creations.
As you may know, Maki Oh is the brand of young designer Maki Osakwe. Her clothes highlight the clever use of bold prints, silk fringing and raffia. She handcrafts all her clothes from scratch in her home country. Debuting at New York Fashion Week in 2017, her work is now gaining strong recognition.
Katungulu is fast gaining international recognition for her contemporary fashion ranges, experimenting with innovative fabrics, modern techniques and traditional methods. She creates a timeless semi-formal and casual look that is certainly getting her noticed.
A design duo of Shelly Mokoena and Keneilwe Mothoa, both relatively new names on the fashion scene. They are going global with ‘Prime Obsession’ a brand gaining notoriety for its minimalist design aesthetic. They have the knowledge and talent that has certainly got the brand noticed.
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Maleombho’s designs fuse Ivorian tribal aesthetics with New York’s urban fashion. Combining futuristic cuts to work magic with tribal prints, this designer has interned with top fashion names, culminating in the launch of her own brand in 2009. She is certainly a name that is worth remembering.
A designer of elegant leather handbags and accessories. Her label features classic investment pieces in bold statement colours and iconic silhouettes. In effect, her range is carefully crafted to last a lifetime and be a firm favourite in any wardrobe.
Ami Doshi Shah
Without a doubt, the designer is known for her outsize and standout accessories, inspired by tribal talismans, using locally sourced materials. These eye-catching pieces are all handcrafted and have the versatility to look great in any contemporary wardrobe. “I am I” is the design label to look out for.
A name synonymous with contemporary African designed jewellery, with stores across the country including a flagship store in Cape Town’s newest art and culture hub, the Silo District. Kirsten’s jewellery enjoys significant recognition for its stylish and contemporary African design.
As you can see, there are many great and talented designers that are making their mark on the fashion world. Hence, will one of these contemporary African fashion designers’ pieces make it into your wardrobe this season?