Writer: Teiko Nartey-Khama
In recent years, the African fashion landscape has been revamped with many designers making use of high quality materials to produce sustainable, adjustable and trendy clothes that can compete with popular Western brands in global markets.
Some of these designers solely use African prints which is centered in geometric and colorful prints in their designs. Others combine these colorful prints with Western prints and some make use of all these prints, and include batik.
Here, I have put together nine brands across Africa which I love and I hope you find one or more that fits your style aesthetic.
Christie Brown is known for its classic cuts and multi – functional pieces. What is also unique about the brand is their use of an intricate yet delicate embroidery called joromi.
Christie Brown’s design is mostly made with beautiful wax prints with a touch of western fabrics. It’s also into accessories design with its well – known and widely copied covered button neck piece. The brand has been worn by personalities like Beyoncé and Tina Knowles.
Exquisite beading, intricate designs made with high quality fabric characterizes Ophelia Crossland’s brand.
The flamboyant nature of their clothes is one reason why I love the brand. The brand’s latest collection, “Gold Dust”, will surely take all your coins.
BELLO – EDU
This minimalist feminine brand produces chic pieces and plays with vibrant colors. I particularly love their Rachel dress, lily cape blouse, Madeira wrap dress and Katie dress.
The brand makes custom pieces along – side their Ready –to – wear line. It recently added accessories to its family with an introduction to the beaded box bag.
What I love about The LadyMaker is the fusion of traditional AfricanStyle merging with modern elegance to produce sultry flair pieces.
The brand works with batik and other bold prints, and their line is versatile.
Uju Offiah’s Meena brand tells a story with each collection she introduces into the fashion landscape.
Well – structured with textured finishes,her pieces resembles architecture edifices. The brand also produces some of the prints it uses for its work.
Modest yet stylish, with a touch of vintage, this Muslim brand is one of my fave! Elora makes trendy clothes that accentuates one’s curves without compromising with modesty.
Made in bold and vibrant prints and neutrals, Elora can be worn by anyone who seeks fashionable but modest clothes.
STYLE ALERT SA
Country: South Africa
Location: South Africa
The founder of this brand experiments with fashion trends with a core love for modern vintage clothing. Thuli’s brand is elegant but simple, and her designs are produced in monotones, neutrals and bold prints with a look of sassiness.
Thuli’s woman for me is one who owns her style, is playful, isn’t afraid to show the right amount of skin and exudes confidence.
Location: Senegal & USA
The Diarrablu brand is a sustainable fashion brand and they produce for various sizes and their pieces are adjustable.
What I find interesting about the brand is the use of math by its founder to produce its own prints. The brand started with swimwear before venturing into clothing.
This Senegalese brand embraces prints. It works with abstract and monotone prints. Their pieces are great for vacations and resort wear.
The brand also has a men’s wear line. It came to the limelight when Beyoncé wore several of its pieces.
Any other designers I should know about based on my style preference?