The fashion market in Africa is expanding significantly. Inspiring collections that highlight their brands’ aesthetics are released by designers in the continent’s major fashion hubs every season.
The African fashion industry is about to go worldwide, with events like Lagos Fashion Week, Glitz Fashion Week, Hub of Africa Fashion Week, and more. In Lagos Fashion Week, we observed models walking down the runway in outfits created by imaginative designers from all over the continent.
For three gloriously beautiful days, fashion enthusiasts from Nigeria and around the world gathered in Lagos, probably Africa’s largest fashion hub, to celebrate the continent’s industry and take in the new season’s collections from designers.
Lagos Fashion Week 2022 came to a thrilling conclusion with a premiere party, an after-party, public shows, and private ones.
Although some designers, including Dye Labs, Eki Kere, Sisiano, Iamisigo, Banke Kuku, Lagos Space Programme, Imad Eduso, and Andrea Iyamah, held private viewings off-site, the public exhibition of more than 30 established and up-and-coming designers were held at the Balmoral Hall of the Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Long braids, bold eyeliner, heavy makeup, Afro hair, patched denim jackets and pants, corsets, long and short dresses, crop tops, cargo pants, high-soled boots, cliques of twos and threes, brightly colored hairstyles and piercings, and camera personnel peering through lenses for perfect shots were just a few of the eccentric looks we saw.
The runway promised a completely different experience from the street style and its immersed culture, as designers produced their best collections yet, including expertly designed suits, loose-fitting shirt dresses, classic textiles, knits, tasselled purses, and even hand-beaded apparel. I discussed the collections with some of the designers.
TJ Who eloquently spreads the gospel of luxury through their attire.
The company was established and is creatively driven by the outstanding Taju Ibrahim. Its approach is based on structures, minimalism, and astute comfort, giving its users a subtle sensation of strength.
They used textiles like cotton-bonded scuba, a blend of cotton, polyester, and viscose materials, to make jaw-dropping designs for their SS/23 collection. The stage included cuffed pants, divided sleeves, and subtle yet noticeable details in the threading.
According to Ibrahim, “this collection has been two years of experimental idea refining, rethinking, and revision, and this collection was us showing the world the number of designs we’ve diligently worked on over the years.
We kept to our avant-garde, sci-fi, and ageless aesthetics with this collection, but we also discovered ways to incorporate our African roots and hand-embroidery techniques into them. They debuted in womenswear during this season.
The Ivory Coast-based Elie Kuame womenswear brand bears his name. After establishing the company in 2016, Kuame has continued to release clothing that is motivated by the love and encouragement he gets from the women in his life.
The majority of his creations are done by hand, and he gives each one a beautiful finishing touch while feeling a surge of love and joy. The designer has dressed royalty and graced the cover of the Ghanaian magazine Debonair Afrik.
The Elie Kuame brand’s SS/23 “This Is Couture” collection, which was inspired by African heritage, served as evidence that the continent was capable of producing much more. Models paraded wearing heavy, opulent clothing and traditional caps worn by queens. There were also visible details like hand beading, gold decorations, and indigenous materials.
“We aim to demonstrate through our roots that fashion is possible in Africa. All of the pieces were produced by hand and beaded, according to Kuame. “We want to use this collection to demonstrate that we can meet international standards as well,”
Based in Accra, Ghana, Jermaine Bleu is a rapidly expanding menswear and womenswear brand. In order to portray insightful tales about the African continent through the eyes of Africans, Jason Jermaine Asiedu started it in 2015. The brand has so far changed directions and graced the digital pages of publications like Teen Vogue and i-D.
The Jermaine Bleu brand returned to Lagos Fashion Week this year with the “Harmony” collection, which was motivated by duality, fluidity, and self-love. The collection is about crafting calming, peaceful narratives or travels.
According to Asiedu, this year, “we’re sharing stories about how we’ve been put in so many boxes by society that we forget who we are, and it drives us to tension, chaos, anxiety, and feelings we don’t even understand.
This is our way of advising folks to take a deep breath, relax, and not take themselves too seriously.
They interpreted this concept through tangible components like color explosions as well as a design methodology and fabric selection.
Joseph O. Ike and Olamide E. Akindeinde founded the Nigerian company JZO. The two are creating a new type of menswear company that adds a whimsical element to African design by utilizing their backgrounds and abilities. Pieces have a strong brand voice, which makes them easy to recognize.
They build, then dismantle before rebuilding.
The fabric selection is perfect, and the styling and silhouette are flawless, always current, and unmistakably noticeable. Their SS/23 collection, “Pan-The-On,” is inspired by ancient African deities.
“We haven’t created or illustrated any of our own African pantheons. What, really, are gods to us? Says Ike. “This is our interpretation of that tale or the first in a series of tales along those lines.
What would they resemble? In order to create this collection, the color scheme, drapings, shapes, and everything else were taken into consideration.
A high-end clothing brand called Rick Dusi creates minimalist silhouettes. Their selection of textiles and color schemes is solely focused on the kinds of narratives they hope to tell and the sources of inspiration.
The company, which was founded by Eromosele Patrick Eidusi, has styled celebrities like Tim Kubart, a two-time nominee for the Grammy Awards and one-time winner. It has also contributed to the creation of some of our favorite fashion events, like Lagos Fashion Week and GTBANK Fashion Weekend.
Rick Dusi looked into the depressing past of the creative director to produce a collection for SS/23 that was a symbol of hope and light. A few months before the collection emerged, the designer, who had recently lost his father, produced looks that were influenced by the event. These looks included brilliantly colored lipsticks, metallic and checkered textiles that glittered, glittering accessories and neckpieces, and bold cosmetics.
According to him, his collection was inspired by a dark past and a hopeful future. This is one of the explanations for my choice of sparkling colors. It serves as a reminder that we are not defined by the past but rather are looking forward to what is ahead.
Content courtesy of Mail Guardian & NFH