14 Top East and West African Fashion Designers Showcased At African Union
An African fashion reception is underway Sept. 13-15 at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa showcasing designers from across the continent. Top designers from each of 30 African countries will be represented. Here are 14 of the top designers from East and West Africa spotlighted at the event.
Sources: ParadiseFashion, Kazozah, Facebook/HouseofWalove, UpNairobi, WorldFashionWeek, AllAfrica, LindaIkejisBlog, CultureBene, DeLaSebure, NewTimes, BedfordshireMusicandFashionWeek, Facebook/FallProv, AfricaMoto, AfricaFashionReception-Tanzania, AfricaFashionReception-Liberia
Paradise Fashion, Ethiopia
Genet Kebede, founder and creative director of Paradise Fashion, studied in Italy and Argentina before returning home to start Paradise Fashion. She incorporates a blend of traditional Ethiopian cloth, known as “Hager Lebse,” and patterns with modern techniques and trends.
Patrick Muhire, founder of Inkanda, focuses on using local Rwandan material to create elegant and stylish pieces. The company’s name, Inkanda, is an ancient skirt-wrapper made out of bark cloth worn by women and girls in Rwanda, and reflects Muhire’s focus on maintaining his identity through his work.
Kaz ’O’ Zah Art, Burundi
The future — “kazoza” in Kirundi — is the ideal inspiring Kaz ‘O’ Zah Art in Burundi. The company provides training and support to Burundi artisans and allows them access to national and international markets. The company’s fashion is a blend of various artisans’ work, all reflecting traditional styles in vibrant colors.
Walove by Design, Kenya
Walove by Design is focused on creating fashion projects inspired by the Millennium Development Goals. The company works to sensitize Kenyans to global societal issues. It also works with youth interested in the fashion world through a mentoring program, introducing them to Africa-inspired designs.
African Idolli, Tanzania
African Idolli, founded by Francisca Frankoo Shirima, uses traditional fabrics such as kikoyi, khanga, vitenge, and Tanzanian-made cotton in many of its garments, often finishing them off by hand painting artistic designs. Frankoo views fashion as a major player in everyday life, and this view is reflected in her designs.
Hall of Peters, Ghana
Hall of Peters founder Peter Akosah Yeboah focuses his brand on elegant gowns and garments made with top-of-the-line materials. He has maintained a focus on African markets, tailoring much of his clothing to flatter the African woman’s body. Yeboah has been hailed for his attention to proper fit and design, as well as boundless creativity.
Alphao Fashion, Guinea
After earning a fine art degree in business management, Alpha Oumar Bah founded Alphao Fashion. He has since been described as the new master of fashion design in his home country of Guinea,. Pursuing his passion has paid off as he works to revolutionize style for the modern woman.
Fall Prov, Senegal
Fall Prov was founded by Fall Mamadou, who remains the brand’s lead creative designer. He often uses basic colors in innovative styles and patterns to create bold new looks, and plays with shapes and cuts that are not often seen in the fashion world.
Les Péchés Mignons, Mali
Based in Bamako, Mali, Mariah Bocoum Keita started her brand after moving from the modeling world to the world of fashion design. Her look is chic, colorful, and fun, often using traditional colors and patterns in modern, yet often vintage, styles.
Yaw’s Creation, Gambia
Yaw’s Creation was founded in 2007 by Awa Conateh out of a desire to become a driving force in the creative industry in The Gambia, as well as serve others. The company works both as a fashion design label and interior designer, focusing on connecting artists and artisans in the country to create a supportive network.
Keto Couture, Nigeria
Keto Couture’s Kenny Okorie uses her own individual style to inspire her pieces, and has carved out an impressive niche for her creations in the fashion industry. She “brings un-imaginary things to reality,” and uses the designs of the fabric itself to help mold the vision, rather than the other way around.
FKK Fashion, Togo
Fo KIKI Fashion, or FKK, blends traditional African themes with modern trends to offer something that satisfies everybody. The company aims to explore and show respect for African designs while exhibiting the diversity of colors and patterns they have to offer.
De La Sébure, Burkina Faso
De La Sébure mixes the warmth of African colors with modern European styles, a reflection of the founder’s native Burkina Faso and adopted home in Europe. The clothes use elegant flairs, vibrant colors, and refined materials to create something entirely its own.
TeKay Designs, Liberia
TeKay Designs was founded by Kimma Wreh, who was recently commissioned to be Liberia’s Fashion Ambassador for the country’s Tailors, Garments, Textiles and Allied Worker’s Union. This is a testament to her popularity in Liberia, and her clothing aesthetic emphasizes high standards and hand-made specifications. Wreh is very successful in the bridal industry, providing unique designer attire for weddings and other formal occasions.
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