Tuesday 21st of May 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

Africa Fashion Designers: Designers From Africa Are Making Waves Around The World.

Posted On : May 30, 2022

Oscar Alochi


Designers from Africa are making waves all over the world. Africa has a wealth of talent, and the fashion business is one of them. Many designers have achieved fame both at home and abroad, and this decade has been no exception.

These designers make Africa proud with every stitch, from inventing new ways to bring the runway to the people during a worldwide pandemic to winning important accolades.

Here are some designers from Africa and the diaspora who are forging their own paths in the worldwide fashion world.

1. Hanifa 

Anifa Mvuemba launched her contemporary ready-to-wear label ‘Hanifa’ ten years ago, but her first presentation was only in 2021. Last year, during the height of the pandemic, the Congolese designer stunned the fashion world when she showed her range on Instagram Live using 3D models of her designs, establishing herself as one of the industry’s newest innovators.
Mvuemba’s designs use vibrant, bold colors to highlight the feminine form, with silhouettes and materials that look rich even in print. Many female celebrities have been photographed wearing Hanifa’s designs on a regular basis.

2. Maxhosa 

Since its inception in 2011, Laduma Ngxokolo’s ‘Laduma by Maxhosa’ has become not only a household name in South Africa, but also one of the continent’s most recognizable knitwear companies.

While studying Textile Design and Technology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Ngxokolo won the international Society of Dyers & Colourists Design Award in London in 2010 for his recognizable men’s knitwear design inspired by Xhosa beadwork.

He’s also been published in publications like as Fader US, Wallpaper UK, and Vogue Italia, as well as exhibiting his work in Paris and London Fashion Weeks.
He is one of Africa’s most innovative exports because to his distinctive utilization of South African mohair and wool in strikingly contrasting colors. In Switzerland, Paris, Japan, Nigeria, the United States, and the Netherlands, ‘Maxhosa by Laduma’ is accessible.

3. Kenneth Ize

Kenneth Ize is a designer from Lagos. He was born and raised in Austria, where he studied fashion and design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna before starting ‘Kenneth Ize’ in 2013. Two pieces with daring prints and colors, certain statement outfits that convey a story, and reinterpret West African textiles are his distinctive creations.

In 2019, Ize was a finalist for the LVMH prize. This designer is one to keep an eye on in 2022, and his work continues to improve.

4. Thebe Magugu

Thebe Magugu is without a doubt one of South Africa’s most successful emerging designers in the last decade. In 2016, the Kimberly native launched ‘Thebe Magugu,’ which has since grown to tremendous heights both locally and globally.

Magugu, who was born a year before apartheid in South Africa was abolished, uses his clothing to represent his connection to South African politics and the after-effects of such an oppressive government, while also advocating for the decolonisation of African design.

Magugu’s global awareness has been obvious since receiving the renowned LVMH prize in 2019. It’s difficult to ignore this designer’s talent, which has been recognized by British Vogue and celebrities such as Rihanna.

5. Imane Ayissi

Imane Ayissi has devoted his entire life to the arts and fashion. He is a world-renowned designer, but he is also a dancer, performer, and model who has collaborated with fashion houses like Dior and Givenchy.

In his creations, the Cameroonian haute couture designer combines the dualities of African and French culture. This is reflected in his clothing, which features an unusual brilliant color and texture combination.

Ayissi has had an 18-year career in the fashion industry and was the first black African designer to walk the Paris haute couture runway. A-list actors like as Angela Bassett and Zendaya have worn his creations.

6. Ahluwalia

Priya Ahluwalia, an Indian-Nigerian designer from London, created the ‘Ahluwalia’ collection. ‘Ahluwalia’ is one of the newest menswear labels on the scene, but it has already made a big impression.

Priya was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and was a co-winner of the LVMH Prize in 2020. Her mix of African designs and Indian weaves gives streetwear a fresh look. Furthermore, this firm is environmentally friendly because it prides itself on reducing waste by employing used and deadstock goods.

African fashion is, without a doubt, in capable and talented hands.

7. Evelyn Akinyi Odongo

MEFA Creation is co-founded by Akinyi, who is also the creative director. Her career began in 2002, and her designs have grown in popularity both locally and globally since then. She was also one of the fortunate designers to have her collection on display during President Barack Obama’s 2015 visit to Kenya.
Margret Kenyatta, Kenya’s first lady, was also dressed by her.
She also asked Martha Karua, a previous presidential candidate, to wear one of her designs during her most recent presidential debate. For Ms Karua, she created a black dress with a green jacket with an African print.

Ms Odongo’s mother was a home-based tailor, thus fashion was a huge part of her childhood.
The future designer would see her mother sewing and then learn how to do it herself. But she had no idea that fashion would be her career at the time. She enlisted in the military after high school, only to learn midway through that it was not going to lead her to her dream.

Before enrolling at the Evelyn College of Design, she took a gap to focus on her family. Ms Odongo, who is a member of the Association of Fashion Designers of Kenya (AFAD), has participated in the annual Safari Fashion Week and recently represented the organization at the Source Africa Trade Show in Cape Town.

8. Deepa Dosaja

Deepa Dosaja is a well-known Kenyan fashion designer. Nature does, in fact, inspire her fashion creations, as evidenced by the patterns, colors, and materials she uses. Deepa uses natural textiles such as cotton, silk, and wool to produce her works.

In fact, she was named Kenya’s Most Influential Woman in the Fashion Industry in 2013. Furthermore, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o wore her designs in 2015, achieving international notoriety.

Deepa strives to honor and empower women via her creations and company. Deepa has built a business that honors her soul by producing attractive, clean, and ethically manufactured clothing.

Deepa has spoken at a number of events regarding the impact of fashion on both the environment and the people who make it. Her strong love for the environment and the people who live in it is shown in the fact that she has never used synthetic textiles in any of her collections or during her fashion career, and she values her crew as the lifeblood of her firm.

9. Sika’a

John Tchoudi, the founder of Sika, is a promising fashion designer. The Sika’a ambition to create stylish and imaginative handmade clothes is blossoming just two years into an African fashion adventure.
The focus is on manufacturing excellent high-end clothing from sustainable textiles, and the company is based in West Cameroon. Sika’a is ahead of the curve in an industry that needs to change to more environmentally friendly practices.
The passion and variety at the heart of the Sika’a ethos are a winning combination. And a perusal of the impressive portfolio is absolutely enthralling.

10. Ann McCreath

Ann McCreath is a Kenyan fashion designer and the originator of the KikoRomeo brand. McCreath has worked in the fashion industry since 1996.
Ann is also the founder of the Festival of African Fashion & Arts (FAFA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peace through fashion. She is the Kenyan Coordinator for Fashion Revolution Day right now.

Award-winning fashion designer with more than two decades of experience in fashion and development in Africa, as well as in Europe.
Expert in the East African fashion sector who is widely regarded as a pioneer. Multilingual connection, motivator, teacher, and creative thinker.

Ann McCreath is passionate about design (see out the KikoRomeo brand), as well as passing on her skills of design, production, marketing, and brand growth to future generations. Everything in my life is connected to the arts in some way.

11. Duro Oluwo

Duro Oluwo is equally well-known in the art and fashion worlds. His discriminating clientele stimulates the same stylistic muse as he does. He’s a master of the mixed-media look. He creates one-of-a-kind ensembles using a variety of materials and patterns that delight and astonish.
In general, evening silhouettes are his go-to, but his works also stray into more unusual assemblages. Oluwo, who primarily designs for women’s clothing, has drawn inspiration from people and places in his varied life.

His 2021 collections are expected to be as groundbreaking as we’ve come to anticipate from him. Here you may see the most recent African fashion collection.

Content Courtesy of NFH


Oscar Alochi


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