By Eyram Rafael
Africa has proven herself to be an epicenter for discovering and being a launch-pad for new and unique talents in the world of fashion like Kenneth Ize, Orange Culture, Richi Minsi, Christie Brown among others. With already established labels and new fashion talents emerging at a fast pace on the continent almost every day, it is easy for one to lose sight of which particular new designers to pay attention to. Meet below the new African designers that deserve your attention as they are building a legacy in African fashion.
With the ethos of sartorial excellence merged with an intricate African identity, Kente Gentlemen is an Ivorian based fashion brand by Aristide Loua.
As a brand, Kente Gentlemen is an ode that celebrates the diverse and rich African textile heritage. Every tailored garment from edgy blazers, waistcoats and clean-cut pants by Kente Gentlemen is fashioned with textiles from all over the continent be it Adire, Aso Eke or Ghana’s landmark textile; the Kente which the brand name is also named after.
Nackah is an eponymous fashion brand by Ghanaian designer Justinah Ackah.
Established only last year, the brand prides themselves in dressing the modern African woman while telling visual stories through clothing that is rooted in African culture. Already Nackah is making a name with their first collection that taps into the current psychedelic print trend with a timeless cultural twist paying homage to the designer’s Ghanaian heritage. With Nackah, the touch of colors are bold to represent what the youthful African essence is.
Contemporary luxury design meets eclectic African visual heritage at Moshions. Started in 2015 by Rwandan designer, Moses Turahirwa, the Moshinos brand creates apparel that links the past and future.
Using a thoughtful approach to fashion, Moshions continually collaborates with local artisans and craftsmen. Together they create meticulously designed collections that are an eye catching interpretation of Africa’s vibrant heritage through contemporary design iterations.
Started in 2018, Pepper Row is a neo-luxury African label by Nigerian designer Omafume Niemogha.
Pepper Row typifies the essence of a lively African culture through their artistic and color-rich garments, accessories and footwear. With the belief in fashion as an effective tool for change, the brand employs sustainable and ethical fashion production strategies from hand dying, wood carving to working with small communities of artisans to create their unique pieces.
Lezanne Viviers started her design studio; Viviers in 2019 to create collectible pieces that are essentially heirlooms celebrating the senses and individuality.
Headquartered in Johannesburg; Vivers Studio redefines African luxury apparel by creating exceptional sustainable collections made in conjunction with artisans. Working with mostly dead stock fabrics and employing concepts of made to measure and limited collections, the brand translates the beauty of African luxe style aesthetics without compromising the environment.
Mazelle Studio is an African luxury womenswear brand by Mariam Afolabi.
Hubed in Nigeria, Mazelle Studio focuses on inventive designs that are coupled with clever storytelling to shine light on African culture. Their signature use of interesting silhouettes and the Adire textile mixed with glimmery embellishments makes all their garments not only colorful but truly poetic and enchanting.
Mmusomaxwell is a high-end womenswear brand founded in 2016 by South African design duo Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane.
The eponymous label at its core ethically amplifies African heritage through fine tailored style aesthetics. Combining heritage with contemporary lifestyle on the continent, Mmusomaxwell presents an array of clothing that compliments every woman and shares a piece of Africa.
Contemporary African fashion label Chiip O’Neal is a wholesome brand that combines storytelling with excellent design based on culture to create a unique style aesthetic.
Combining and translating pieces of culture from all over the African continent to form signature looks, Chiip O’Neal makes clothes that reflect the au courant African fashion spirit without losing touch of African ancestry. Their looks feature rich hued embellishments attached to bases crafted from upcycled fabrics like Moroccan Kilim
Alledjo Studio is a Dakar based fashion atelier that captures the spirit of traveling married with style on African soil.
Founded by Kassim Lassissi in 2018, Alledjo which translates in Yoruba as “a traveler” focuses on drawing inspiration from travel and destinations whilst promoting African savoir-faire. With their pieces capturing the beauty in travel, Alledjo’s designs feature free and flowy silhouettes and spot on eclectic colors that is gradually making the brand an international fashion cult favorite.
Ibrahim Fernandez’s self-named fashion brand, Ibrahim Fernandez is a brand based in Ivory Coast, Abidjan defined by delicate heritage inspired designs.
Creating predominantly with fine silk or their signature patterned fabric rendered in many color ways, the brand brings to the African fashion scene an array of dresses and elevated menswear essentials that are sophisticated and culturally woke.
Photo credits: Kente Gentlemen, Nackah, Alledjo, Mazelle Studios, Moshions and Mmusomaxwell.