All eyes on Africa! From Michelle Obama to Beyoncé to the Kardashians, African designers are making their mark on the international fashion stage. Listed below are those who have contributed to features in British and American Vogue magazine, revealed new collections during New York and London Fashion Week. More importantly, they are the ones lauded after by celebrities and high profile fashion forward individuals across Africa.
The likes of designer brands such as Gucci, Chanel, and Dior are now competing with established as well as emerging African designers on and off the Red Carpet. New age fashionistas are increasingly combining their Christian Louboutin shoes with Vlisco print fabric apparels, their Cartier jewels with David Tlale evening gowns and their Louis Vuitton travel bags with Duro Olowu ‘boho chic dresses. See our Lux list of trending designers.
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Vlisco is a Ghana-based print fabric artisan. Where the Western world has tweed, West Africa has print and Vlisco is the specialist. The designs are recognisably bold and bright. www.vlisco.com
Nigeria: Mai Atafo
Savile Row Academy trained designer and stylist to Nollywood stars. Mai Atafo provides bespoke tailoring with international standards but maintains an ‘African heart.’ www.maiatafo.com
Nigeria: Duro Olowu
Discovered by American Vogue editor and living in London, yet Duro Olowu’s Nigerian heritage is vibrantly visible in his designs. The SS16 collection is a cultural mix of prints and textures. www.duroolowu.com
Rwanda: Mille Collines
Mille Collines SS16 campaign is a modern representation of the professional African woman; ‘Blending the creativity, strength and culture of the African spirit with ever-evolving global trends.’ www.millecollines.es
South Africa: David Tlale
Internationally known for his glamorous designs and supermodels on the runway, David Tlale is South Africa’s celebrity designer. He creates ‘daring and elegant’ styles for the elite. www.davidtlale.com
South Africa: Gert – Johan Coetzee
Gert -Johan Coetzee is one of the youngest South African designers with a list of national and international celebrity clients. The collection is an elaborate fusion of culture and wealth. www.gertjohancoetzee.com