guess what? African fashion is not limited to dashiki and kente cloth. Both have significant and historical significance in West Africa, but hundreds of designers from across the African continent showcase the beauty of their homeland through other forms of fashion. Africa is often left out when discussing inclusion, as Ekow Barnes of Ekow Barnes emphasized on a panel at the 2022 Business of Fashion Voices conference.
“Whenever the West tells our story, it’s always a little one-sided,” Barnes said.
Today, many designers, writers, photographers and entrepreneurs actively participate in telling the rich stories of African countries. In fact, Africa has a solid fashion scene. With a contemporary twist on traditional silhouettes and designs, African fashion, from luxury to streetwear, has a strong focus on sustainability. So the next time a fashion debate rages on, or you just want to pamper yourself, consider these brands and designers.
Designed and produced in Dakar, Senegal, Tongoro brings playful and unique designs to the forefront of fashion. Founded by Sarah Diouf, the brand has gained international recognition and has been worn by Beyoncé, Burna Boy, Naomi Campbell and more.
This Nigerian-owned luxury footwear brand believes that “within every woman lies a unique, resilient, imperfectly perfect diamond.”Titi Adesa The collection balances understated elegance with modern femininity through redefined minimalist silhouettes.
Founded in 2018 by Travis Obeng-Casper, contemporary Ghanaian unisex brand Ajabeng boasts an Afro minimalist aesthetic, combining bold colors with more relaxed designs and silhouettes. The brand’s array of linen tunics, shorts, and pants make a statement on their own, but can also be easily dressed up if desired.
Inspired by her African heritage and natural elements, Andrea Dumebi Iyama’s eponymous brand was founded in 2011. The bold colors, retro classic silhouettes, and contemporary edge of her pieces are designed to inspire the adventurer within everyone.
Founded in 2017 by Aristide Loua, Kente Gentlemen is an Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire-based clothing brand that focuses on ethically sourced, handcrafted, high-quality blazers, pants, skirts and dresses. . The brand’s in-house atelier designs and tailors contemporary clothing and accessories with local artisans.
Fruché is a modern luxury fashion brand based in Lagos, Nigeria, founded in 2014 by self-taught designer Frank Aghuno. With its unique silhouette, 3D quality design and mixed his media materials, the brand offers an elegant Afrofuturist style.
Imad Eduso is a womenswear brand based in Lagos, Nigeria. Founded in 2015, the brand uses contemporary trends and colors to create timeless pieces.
Founded in 2015 by Faith Oluwajimi, Bloke is a Nigerian label that challenges the relationship between art, culture and fashion. By fusing contemporary design with craftsmanship and traditional patterns, Bloke offers a unique concept of luxury for men and women.
Burundi-based jewelery designer Margaux Rusita’s brand Margaux Wong is saving East African materials from a waste-bound fate. The fine jewelry line’s unique statement pieces are crafted in partnership with local artisans and made from ethically sourced cow horn, brass, and other materials.
Designed by Nigerians for the world, NBDA is a multi-faceted, fashion-influenced footwear brand. With a mission to promote originality, self-discovery and self-expression, the brand’s designs demonstrate the intersectionality between fashion, architecture and the human experience.
Spice up your everyday wardrobe with pieces from Seta The Label. By manufacturing each product in Lagos, the brand offers effortless, simple, and trendy styles for the modern woman.
Demi-couture womenswear label Onalaja is inspired by creative director Kanyinsola Onalaja’s Nigerian heritage and Italian design influences. The brand’s motifs include mixed textures, sultry silhouettes, and intricate prints.
Sometimes all you need is some time in the sun. This Nigeria-based brand has the gear you need for your next vacation. Salt and Sunscreen manufactures high quality, fashion forward swimwear for both men and women.
More than just an apparel line, it’s a movement, Nigerian brand Orange Culture is in its 12th year since its launch in 2011 by Adebayo Oke-Lawal. OC’s focus is on menswear, but via the brand’s website, Roale said his clothing is for those interested in telling stories with their own style.
Founded by Celeste Arendse, Cape Town-based womenswear brand Selfi specializes in ethically sourced and bespoke pieces for the modern woman. Structured, strappy, and often in neutral colors, they’ll quickly become a closet staple.
Want to find luxury from all diasporas in one convenient platform? Ditto Africa is the ultimate online marketplace where consumers around the world can buy directly from African brands.
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