Fashion is a fast growing industry in Africa. According to Nigerian designer, Deola Sagoe, “African fashion is likely to become a $15.5 billion industry in the next 5 years.” Cued from Ventures Africa.
Fashion Weeks in major African cities like Cape Town, Lagos and Johannesburg have all the glitters and glamours you see at the New York, Paris and London Fashion Weeks.
There are a lot of talented designers in Africa, many of which have contributed in capturing the attention of international communities and putting African fashion on the map. Below, I have compiled a list of 5 great designers you need to know.
Lanre Da Silva Ajayi – The Nigerian designer founded the LDA brand in 2005, which back then focused mostly on couture. But today, her designs have evolved into prêt-a-porter and accessories. In her SS15 “Rock Delight” collection showcased at the 2014 GT Bank Lagos Fashion & Design Week, she introduced us to colorful prints on slinky and raw silks. This collection is flirty, feminine and luxurious.
Spero Villioti – Is South Africa’s king of haute couture who has maintained a top spot in the fashion business for more than 25 years and has won many prestigious awards. As a way of giving back to the industry, Villioti started a design school in 2004 where students can learn the craft of couture. For his collection showcased at the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa, Villioti was inspired by the “glamour days of 1930s Hollywood and silver screen goddesses.”
Taibo Bacar – The Mozambican designer created TAIBO BACAR in 2008, a brand that is popularly known for its blend of high fashion and ready-to-wear. Among his many prestigious awards and recognitions, Bacar was the first African designer to showcase at the Milan Fashion Week. For his SS15 “A Luta Continua” collection, Bacar combined hard and soft fabrics with tribal influences.
Intisaar Mukadam – Is a Zimbabwean born designer who graduated from a UK fashion school in 2010 and returned to Zimbabwe to launch her fashion label, IntisaarM the same year. Her designs which are mainly women’s wear and knitwear are heavily influenced by African Tribal fashion.
Aisha Obuobi – Is the creative director and founder of Christie Brown, a Ghanaian-based luxury fashion brand that has changed the face of fashion in Ghana. The label was launched in 2008 and specializes in women’s fashion and accessories that are inspired by African art and culture.
What are your thoughts on these designers and African fashion in general? Please sound off in the comment section below or tweet me @Linda_LMExpose