African culture is fascinating so its no surprise that Africa is a goldmine when it comes to sourcing products. There are many emerging designers in Africa that are making an effort into producing fashion lines that are both ethical and sustainable. Here are designers to watch out for:
Abrima Erwiah, Ghana
Abrima Erwiah is a designer and co-founder of label Studio 189. She partners with actress Rosario Dawson on the eco-friendly fashion line, which works with artisans to produce the garments in a studio in Accra. She discusses the impact they’ve had and why David Adjaye is her African of the year.
Visit Abrima Erwiah online
Lisa Folawiyo, Nigeria
Lisa Folawiyo, founder and creative director of Lisa Folawiyo studied Law at the University of Nigeria. With no formal training, she started the label in her home, after the birth of her daughter in 2005. Her passion for clothes and her innate sense of style led her to create what at the time had never been done, the embellishing of the local Ankara fabric; which has now become a global phenomenon.
Visit Lisa Folawiyo online
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, Ghana
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi founded the label AAKS with the goal of introducing the world to her favourite weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana while also creating and igniting sustainable jobs within Africa. Handcrafted in Ghana, A A K S creates bags in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts characterised by bright exuberant colours.
Visit Akosua Afriyie-Kumi online
Intisaar Mukadam, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean born designer Intisaar Mukadam obtained her BA (honors’) Fashion Design degree in the UK, in 2010. She has become an International name after launching her label, IntisaarM, in Harare, in December 2010. Intisaar’s first collection, “Tribal” was selected- by a judging panel including the renowned British designer, Karen Millen- as one of sixteen degree collections to showcase at Graduate Fashion Week 2010, which was held in London, UK, This collection was entered in the BHM Knitwear Visionary Award competition 2010.
IntisaarM collections are all made in Zimbabwe.
Visit Intisaar Mukadam online
Walé Oyéjidé, Nigeria
In addition to his role as the brand’s creative director, Walé Oyéjidé designs Ikiré Jones’s textiles/accessories, and authors all of the prose/copy affiliated with the brand. Mr. Oyéjidé’s design work is part of the “Making Africa” contemporary design exhibit, which was at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.
Visit Walé Oyéjidé online
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Ethiopia
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is an Ethiopian businesswoman, founder and executive director of soleRebels, Africa’s fastest growing footwearcompany. Alemu has received a slew of honors and accolades for her business acumen, as well as her efforts to shift the discourse on Africa away from poverty alleviation by external actors and instead highlight the entrepreneurial spirit, social capitol, and vast economic potential of the continent, and Ethiopia in particular. Alemu recently launched a second company, The Republic of Leather, focusing on custom-designed sustainable luxury leather goods.
Visit Sole Rebels Online
Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans, Nigeria
Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans, the award winning designer, is the creative force behind the high-end London-based fashion-label Eki Orleans. Born in Germany, raised in Nigeria and educated in London, her design aesthetic has been strongly influenced by this diverse mix of cultures. She draws inspiration from all of her cultural experiences, most notably, however, from her West African heritage. Growing up in the buzzing, chaotic and culturally diverse city of Lagos, Hazel first developed a love for the vivid and earthy colours of Africa.
Visit Eki Orleans online