In recent years we have seen the global appreciation for African culture food music and overall enjoyment (about time). From the Ampiano warriors on Tik Tok to the smooth beats from Burna Boy and Wizkid. Not to mention Detty December in Ghana & Nigeria, we felt it was only right that we talk about the vibrant fashion scene and who should be on your radar right now.
Now when you think of famous African designers, the first thing that comes to mind for most is the vibrant colours, elaborate head wraps with, detailed hand stitched creations. Now all of this is true, but with new pioneers on the horizon disrupting the scene its difficult not fall in love with every creation.
1. Nkwo | West African Designer
We remember the first time coming across Nkwo, there was something incredibly mesmerising about the use of the indigo colour palette, a beautiful introduction into up cycled craftsmanship. Nkwo is a sustainable brand with a focus on the preservation of traditional craftsmanship. The layered use of denim, with oversized shapes creates a statement for any fashionista. Most recently Nkwo won the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards for Emerging Designer. There designs were seen in Vogue Arabia worn by none other than Super Model Naomi Campbell.
Image Credits: Lakin Ogunbanwo for V&A Museum & Nataal Media
2. Rich Mnisi | South African Fashion
When they talk about the power of influence, and understanding your personal brand Rich Mnisi understood the assignment. We are OBSESSED with everything he posts on the gram. Rich Mnisi is a South African based contemporary brand, celebrating culture and heritage through story telling. One of the unique things about Rich Mnisi is the ability to intersect so many categories such as film, music, art and nature whilst still staying true to their core. In a recent collaboration with Adidas the brands sees a step into the realm of streetwear, creating iconic silhouettes.
Image Credit: Rich Mnisi
3.Banke Kuku | Kuku Textiles
Our favourite type of loungewear is the type that you can wear outside. When you think of loungewear what comes to mind?…. Well in the case of Banke Kuku think parrots, 70s funk and feathers, with a contemporary African twist. Drapery fabrics that just flow on the body, heavily influenced between a cross heritage of the UK & Nigeria. Banke Kuku has been seen on celebrities such as Gabrielle Union, with sell out events in Soho House London.
Image Credit: Banke Kuku
4.Kai Collective | Nigerian Fashion Brand
We first discovered Kai Collective when large mainstream companies, tried to copy their unique style and of course failed. Founded by the fierce vivacious Fiasco Longe. What we love about the brand the most is the effortless way aesthetic that seems to work on every body type. Every detail has been though about to make you feel empowered and make you feel like the best version of yourself. Kai Collective is a London based brand luxury brand routed in the celebration of the multi dimensional women. The Gaia dress was a collaboration with Adebusola of Grapes Pattern Bank, inspired by the definition of Kai meaning Ocean or Oceanic in Japanese and Hawaiian. Gaia has been named dress of the year by Okay Africa.
Image Credit: Kai Collective
5. Adama Paris | Senegalese Fashion
We had the pleasure of exhibiting with Adama Paris in Egypt, celebrating Women’s contribution to the creative sector in Africa. What we fell in love with the most, was the ability to be daring with colour. Authentic traditional designs such as the bubu was brought alive in ways we had never seen before. Adama Paris is founded by Senegalese designer Adama Amanda Ndiaye who was heavily influenced by Parisian and Dakar style. The Adam Paris style represents a modern aesthetic for the fashion conscience women to dress, expressing link between the West and Africa. Adam Paris has been featured in CNN, as well as being worn by the music mogul Beyonce.
Image Credits: Adama Paris
Remember you heard it here first, fashionistas our top 5 must watch brands, and there are so many more to discover, we hope you enjoyed reading. For more African inspired content check African Jewellery brands we love here