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Saturday 9th of December 2023

Nairobi, Kenya

How Africa Fashion Week London Designers Illuminated The Catwalk Show

Posted On : November 8, 2023

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The hugely anticipated Africa Fashion Week London 2023 catwalk show stunned the fashion world with a stunning fusion of style, innovation, and culture.
A stunning array of African designers stole the show at this weekend’s event held at the Institute of Directors in Piccadilly, London, which proved to be a showcase of the continent’s rich tapestry of design.

The catwalk came to life with brilliant creativity that transported the audience through Africa’s diverse fashion landscape, celebrating the incredible talent and vision that are redefining the global fashion industry. From the vibrant colors and patterns inspired by traditional African heritage to cutting-edge contemporary trends, the catwalk was a visual feast for the eyes.

1. David Wej
David Wej is an award-winning global premium lifestyle brand that was founded in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2008 by Adedayo David Eweje. It is well-known for its unique, traditionally-inspired bespoke jacquard suits, classic shirts, and accessories.
David demonstrated the designer’s impeccable sense of style with his menswear by incorporating sophisticated stripes and coordinating accessories.

2. Adire Oodua
Established in 2021 by Queen Ronke Ademiluyi-Oguswusi, the founder of Africa Fashion Week London & Nigeria, and chaired by His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, the Adire Oodua Textile Hub is a testament to her extraordinary vision, drive, and determination.
Fundamentally, the textile hub serves as a symbol of respect and recognition on a global scale for the preservation and advancement of South West Nigeria’s indigenous fabric.

3. Mary Martin London
Famous for creating custom designs that celebrities all over the world wear on red carpets, Mary Martin London is a highly acclaimed fashion artist. London, Accra, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, and Scotland have all experienced sold-out catwalk shows featuring her colorful and innovative creations.

4. Simeogieme
Unique, distinctive, and high-quality clothing is what Simeogieme, a stylishly varied luxury clothing brand, prides itself on. Sensuality, sophistication, and simplicity define our ethos. Osime Saibu, the creative director, has a passion for designing clothes and accessories and is an avid fashion enthusiast. In 2010, she introduced the apparel line.
During the show, this particular collection was particularly noteworthy. Simeogieme, who had her exhibition stand downstairs, was really one to visit if you wanted to buy straight off the catwalk. She was deceptively simple but with extraordinary grace, architectural detail, tightly pleated fabrics, and unique patterns.

5. Pa Musa
Designer and interior decorator Pa Musa, originally from Sierra Leone, is an expert in soft textured fabric and the gara-tie-die technique. He is well-known in the Sierra Leonean fashion industry for his outrageous designs and quirky demeanor, which have elevated him to the status of one of the country’s most innovative designers.
We saw an extravagant use of fabric in the men’s and women’s wear collections, which flowed and ebbed with the AFWL models.

6. Abaake By Equip
Nigeria serves as the inspiration for the ethical and environmentally friendly brand Abaake by eQuip. Located in the United Kingdom, they integrate elements of Yoruba identity, traditional clothing, and textiles into contemporary designs and products.
Customers who value African culture and want to surround themselves with skincare, home décor, accessories, and apparel with African influences are drawn to this brand.

7. Amarelis
Amarelis is a clothing and lifestyle brand that not only encompasses the simplicity of its designer, Lara Cole but also uses virtuoso fabrics, creating introspective collections consisting of cutting-edge designs and on-trend styles.
All designs are fluid, timeless, and classic, matching their slogan, “Sustaining the effervescent spirit of Africa!”
Their collections embody a fusion of modern, multifunctional trends and African heritage. Timeless elegance appeals to a wide range of fashion-forward women looking for looks that complement their existing wardrobes.

8. Apparel By MO
Apparel By Mo, a Nigerian brand based in Lagos, combines Western contemporary design with Yoruba cultural heritage. The brand specializes in custom and ready-to-wear women’s fashion as well as fashion education.

9. ARIÁBA
Lagos, Nigeria, is home to the lifestyle brand ARIÁBA.
The design house crafts a complete line of handcrafted goods, encompassing jewelry, accessories, home and body scents, and exquisite and distinctive apparel.
They also provide personalized and gifting options.

10. Bantu Gold
Botswana-based fashion brand Bantu Gold skillfully combines traditional culture with modern design. Devoted to regional artistry, we design clothing that genuinely embodies both the contemporary inventiveness and the customs of our country. Prestigious exhibitions at occasions such as Mr. Price’s renowned incubation program—an honor bestowed by one of Africa’s biggest retailers—are part of our journey.
We are well-positioned to advance our craft, support the expansion of the fashion industry, and carry on telling the world about Botswana’s distinctive story thanks to this program. Beyond clothes, we support up-and-coming designers, promote cross-cultural interactions, and honor Africa’s diversity.
Come along on a journey where fashion and culture collide, and discover the lively spirit of Botswana in each piece.

11. Bittany
Founded by Fikayomi Agbola, the African fashion brand Bittany is the result of Agbola’s visionary entrepreneurial spirit, her undying will to turn hardship into opportunity, and her love of fashion.
Initially born out of dissatisfaction with tailors, bittany has evolved from a simple pastime into a magnificent celebration of African culture and heritage with exquisitely designed pieces that are accessible to all! Making African fashion available to everyone around the world and making people smile are our two main objectives.
The ARÁBÁMBI Collection was created because Bittany upholds family values.

With the slogan “Be unapologetically unique,” Bittany encourages people to embrace their individuality while upholding the fundamental principles of honesty, innovation, and collaboration in all facets of their business dealings.
This brand promotes slow fashion and sustainability by using upcycling techniques and providing alteration and repair services to prolong the life of clothing. It is more than just a fashion brand.
However, Bittany’s influence extends beyond style.
Through its sister company, KÁYÒMI, which sells sustainable fashion, Fikayomi is committed to supporting the gig economy in the UK and creating jobs for African artisans. Bittany is passionate about fashion, sustainability, and having a positive impact. She wants to change the world, one stitch at a time.

As the African Fashion Week London draws near, Bittany continues to be a shining example of inventiveness, cultural diversity, and a dedication to improving the world.

12. Bantu Gold
Botswana-based fashion brand Bantu Gold skillfully combines traditional culture with modern design. Devoted to regional artistry, we design clothing that genuinely embodies both the contemporary inventiveness and the customs of our country.
Prestigious exhibitions at occasions such as Mr. Price’s renowned incubation program an honor bestowed by one of Africa’s biggest retailers, are part of our journey.
We are well-positioned to advance our craft, support the expansion of the fashion industry, and carry on telling the world about Botswana’s distinctive story thanks to this program.
Beyond clothes, we support up-and-coming designers, promote cross-cultural interactions, and honor Africa’s diversity. Come along on a journey where fashion and culture collide, and discover the lively spirit of Botswana in each piece.

13. Decor & Style
Decor & Style is a clothing and accessories brand from Portugal. Trading since 2016 with the aim of showing two aspects: fashion and decoration, in a simplified way.

This brand is the creation of Paula Ceita, a designer from Sao Tome and Principe. She made her debut in the world of fashion in the year 2000. Since then, she has spread her creations all over the world. She works with a fusion of African and European fabrics for both men and women, as well as home furnishings.

Decor & Style has already held several fashion shows in Portugal, Sao Tome, and the United Kingdom.

14. Elpis Megalio
The pinnacle of ready-to-wear and custom clothing, Elpis Megalio is designed for the contemporary woman who values expression and uniqueness. Motivated by the combination of artistic expression and wanderlust, Olufunke Afolabi, our creative director with vision, bravely delves into the vivid realm of color, pushing the boundaries of design with unmatched artistry.
At Elpis Megalio, we support women in embracing their individuality and exuding confidence. With outfits made just for her, our carefully chosen pieces are created with the sincere intention of making every woman feel absolutely beautiful.
Join us at Fashion Week as we present our exquisite collection, which is a celebration of travel, the arts, and what it means to be truly exceptional. Embrace your true self, stand out, and let Elpis Megalio bring out your inner beauty.

15. Enadia Igbin Clothing
As a African modern woman’s go-to brand for everyday and special occasion wear, Enadia Igbin Clothing specializes in utilizing African-inspired textiles (such as Ankara prints).
In order to honor contemporary curvaceous women, we offer both bespoke and standard UK sizing options.
Our products are lovingly made in Nigeria, where we have our headquarters.

16. Hertunba
Handcrafted, long-lasting clothing is the specialty of sustainable womenswear brand Hertunba.
Their goal is to empower local women artisans, educate and train adult learners, and expand the Hertunba brand while sourcing all of their products locally.
Many hours of labor are put into making sure that Hertunba produces as little waste as possible. What little waste is generated from extra fabric is repurposed into coats in a variety of colors and patterns.

17. La Casa de Solana
Designer and CEO of “House of Solana,” Sasha Solana Walton
An American fashion designer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the brand specializes in plus-size apparel, producing a range of items from high-end to ready-to-wear.
The company even found time to launch Solana Beautè, a beauty line that was highlighted in British Vogue.
The brand has created an Oscar dress and shown it in London, Paris, and Milan.

18. Ire Clothings
Ire Clothings, located in Lagos Ikeja, is a unique fashion hub that blends modern styles with traditional Ankara and Adire fabrics, creating a vibrant Afrocentric aesthetic.

19. Ik-Pen
Nigeria’s Abuja is home to the upscale women’s fashion label Ik-Pen. Ikpen Yvonne Akwitti established the company in 2006 with an eye toward excellence and fine craftsmanship.
The brand features modern designs that draw inspiration from Africa. It is renowned for providing prêt-à-porter and bespoke services.
Her prêt-à-porter collection features intriguing silhouettes and ethnic details, offering classic pieces for its affluent clientele that include resort, glamorous, everyday, and traditional bridal wear.
“For the fashionable and sophisticated woman.”

20. Jurio Luti
Fashion brand JURIO LUTI was founded in Lagos, Nigeria, and is passionate about creating visually striking pieces that tell stories with added value by connecting dots and lines.
The company firmly believes in inspiring the next generation of fashion designers to pursue their goals and reach their full potential by using their intellectual property to advance the sector through environmentally friendly methods.

21. Kini Gray
Affordably priced fashion label Kini Gray designs timeless, cozy clothing for chic, well-dressed ladies.

22. Lisztomania
The term “LISZTOMANIA” refers to the obsession with music listening. When I’m making my collections, I draw inspiration from music.
Lisztomania is primarily a youthful, feminine style line that tends to produce daring yet modestly exposed clothing without going overboard.
In an effort to be more inclusive and offer stylish clothes for men, Lisztomania is also starting to include a male collection.

23. The Mumini Fashion Empire
Within the fashion industry of Sierra Leone, Mumini Fashion Since 1961 is a well-known brand. We’ve been successful in creating a brand that revitalizes the African fashion industry by utilizing indigenous textiles.
Our goal is to create world-famous textile artisans from economically disadvantaged areas.

24. Ngüo
Ngüo, a Swahili word for dress, ensures comfort and a unique aesthetic with each design. Each unique creation is made with the intent of deep knowledge; their customers want to be a piece of art, to be able to dress stylishly in a non-conventional way.

Ngüo challenges the norm that stylish and attractive should only be defined by figure-hugging garments. Ngüo strives for inclusivity and gender diversity and recognizes that fashion can be used as a medium for activism.

The brand started in Ngüo in August 2019 and has been well received, with an overwhelming response in its country of origin, Botswana, and now internationally.

Tumie Mohoasa, the lead style curator, sources the best linen and concentrates on neckline, pocket, and sleeve details to create breath-taking ready-to-wear works of fabric art.

Ngüo is currently a supplier to Africa Fashion International and stocks at House of Nala in Sandton, Johannesburg.

25. OJ Clothings
We are creative, artistic, innovative, original, and inventive.
We are based in Lekki, Lagos state

26. Psalmy Exclusive
Psalmy Exclusive is an African label with a distinctive design established to intrigue clients with fashion pieces.
The brand has world dominance on its mind, with the aim of becoming a worldwide brand with impeccable styling and an exclusive clientele.
Based in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria, while expanding to the United Kingdom and worldwide.

27. Patrick Slim
Menswear designer Patrick Slim, who draws inspiration from Africa, is redefining a completely contemporary approach to fashion in Lagos, Nigeria, and around the globe.

28. Piillz N Poizn
Piillz and Poizn is a cutting-edge women’s fashion brand that offers unique, high-style garments that are designed to make a bold statement. With its fearless approach to fashion, Piillz and Poizn has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most daring and innovative fashion labels on the market.
Founded in 2018 by Ifeoma Kate Umenyiora to share her passion for pushing the boundaries of fashion, Piillz and Poizn combine edgy, avant-garde designs with luxurious fabrics and impeccable attention to detail. At the heart of Piilz and Poizn’s aesthetic is the idea that fashion should be fun, daring, and playful. The designers behind the brand are not afraid to experiment with bold colors, unusual textures, and unexpected silhouettes. This fearless approach to fashion has resulted in a collection of garments that are both eye-catching and unforgettable.
One of the hallmarks of Piillz and Poizn’s design philosophy is a focus on shape and structure. Piilz and Poizn’s garments are carefully constructed to flatter the form, with intricate draping, strategic cutouts, and sculptural silhouettes that emphasize the natural curves of the body. This attention to detail gives Piillz and Poizn’s clothing line a distinctive, high-end feel that is unmatched by other fashion brands.

29. Prelim
Zimbabwean-born designer Preline Martha is the designer behind the Prelim Label. A Prelim Design is always colorfully driven with eye-catching print. Her designs are inspired by the great South African Ndebele artist, Esther Mahlangu, including the cultures and traditions taught by her Zimbabwean grandmother, coupled with her experiences living in the inner city of London mixed in with the current Afrobeat scene.

30. RubyDawn International
Established in 2021, the USA brand RubyDawn International is an authentically Afrocentric and socially sustainable high fashion design brand that reflects the cultural background of its founder, Dawn Surgest.
By melding boldly hued African-produced fabrics with the casual ease of classic American style, RubyDawn International creates uniquely Afro-Proud, couture-quality designs for both business environments and special occasion events.

31. Tulles and Wools
Tulles and Wools is an exquisite, affordable luxury bespoke brand based in England, dedicated to crafting timeless, sustainable, and unique pieces that epitomize elegance and sophistication. The brand specializes in Afrocentric designs, timeless fairytale dresses for moms and kids, crochet outfits, accessories, and customized shirts.
Their passion for sustainable fashion drives them to create ethically made garments using eco-friendly materials and innovative production methods. With a focus on quality and individuality, they empower our customers to embrace their personal style while making a positive impact on the planet.

Content courtesy Business Day, African Fashion Week London & NFH

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