When African fashion comes to anyone’s mind, chances are the first thing that would pop up in your head would be animal prints. Cheetah, Leopard, or zebra prints, you name it, Africa’s been identified with it. But there’s more to African style than these mere safari-esque colors. The world is actually turning their heads towards a lot of designers coming from this wonderful continent, and most of them are now currently based in the fashion capitals of the world (New York, London, Paris). A lot of African designers are also dressing the most prominent of all prominent individuals, which speaks a lot about their absolutely talented skills. They are also in tune with their heritage, which is so evidently seen in their designs. They are proud to be Africans! So scroll down below and meet them!
Sindiso Kumalo is one of South Africa’s most talented artists. Originally an architecture student, she eventually went on her way to study MA Design for Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Her designs are marked by very structural pieces and geometric prints coupled with striking colors. She is also inclined to creating very modern pieces. When asked how she views her style of design, it would be “Afro Bauhaus gone Pop”. She already won Elle Magazine’s (South Africa) Rising Star Competition for her SS’13 collection. She is currently based in London.
Ghana-born but California raised, Mimi Plange is one of Africa’s most prominent designers, having dressed the likes of Rihanna and Michelle Obama. Like many designers, who from a young age have been identified with the rare ability of producing exceptional art, Mimi Plange cultured her talent with the influence of her mother and uncle (who is an architect). She studied BA in Architecture at the University of California before entering the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in California as well. Her aesthetic is a combination of her knowledge in architecture and her roots - definitely a designer for the sophisticated woman with a good sense of style.
Amaka Osakwe of Maki Oh
Amaka Osakwe's designs are absolute wonders - especially if you’re print savvy and someone who prefers boxy cuts. Osakwe’s talent has been cultivated by her artist mother. In an interview for The Man Repeller, Osakwe said that her mom would ask her children to sketch the clothes they would wear so that during the weekend she could buy fabrics that could later be sewn the following week. She considers the Lagos City in Africa as a haven for her inspiration, even citing that this hometown of hers is where she opts to stay to get the best ideas. Maki Oh is a brand that stands for sustainability, and it is a name which stands for “challenging prevailing notions of beauty”.
Born in Mozambique in 1985, Bacar grew up with his mother, a seamstress. After leaving his career with a degree in Information Technologies, he decided to study at the Instituto Maragoni in Spain for there were no fashion schools in Mozambique at that time. Bacar is talented in mixing his African heritage into his designs, which shows how deeply rooted he his with his home. His Autumn/Winter 2013 collection perfectly illustrates this, having been able to ingeniously combine african prints to lace, sheer, and beaded fabrics.