Alongside American and European designers, many African designers and Fashion brands have successfully developed new trends in the world of fashion. Some African designers on the international scence killing this fashion game and making Africa proud is what we are about on the blog today.
Adama Ndiaye (Senegal) is a Senegalese fashion designer also known as “Adama Paris” (the name of her label). Credited with starting Black Fashion Week, Adama’s legacy is one that runs deep in African history. Adama left a banking career in Europe to pursue fashion design in Senegal. That move came with its own challenges. Receptivity and perception. The current industry had a compass by which they measured new fashion innovation and staples; Adama’s pieces weren’t cutting it hence, a struggle for mainstream acceptance and a move to change the perception of people about her work. In order to expand the visibility of African design, Adama created the “Dakar Fashion Week” exhibition and has since then produced many fashion events such as Dakar Fashion Week (which has been on for 14 years), Afrika Fashion Awards which evolved into The African Fashion Awards(TMA) and the Black Fashion Week Prague, Bahia and Paris and Montreal since 2010.
In April 2014, Adama and her team launched Fashion Africa Channel the first 100% African Fashion Television Channel. She has been featured on several media platforms including CNN for CNN African Voices and Monde Magazine. Adama currently advocates for the promotion of African Women (especially Senegalese women) in entrepreneurship.
Aisha Obuobi (Ghana) founded her fashion label Christie Brown (which was named after her grandmother), in 2008. She went from making clothes for her friends and family to being a designer for Africa’s elite, with designs inspired by the African culture and art. Her clothes and accessories have made a bold statement, painting the runways with a fuse of color and culture, fit for the contemporary African woman.
The brand, standing uniquely as a women’s apparel, has grown internationally and has been acknowledged in a number of magazine features, both on the African continent and abroad, such as Grazia, Marie Claire, Destiny and Arise. Based on her work, she has been invited to sit on a panel at the African Economic Forum at Columbia University in New York. Aisha’s ability to incorporate modern trends into carefully selected epic African staples that meet international benchmarks is worth celebrating. In 2009, she won the coveted Emerging Designer of the Year award at Arise Fashion Week in South Africa. Aisha was also the only Ghanaian designer to be chosen to showcase at Paris Fashion Week .
Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa) studied Architecture at the University of Cape Town and got her a Masters degree in Design for Textile Futures in London. Sindiso founded her eponymous label with a focus on creating modern sustainable textiles that lays emphasis on African story telling. Designing her textiles with watercolors and collage which she does herself distinguishes her designs and gives it a unique cutting edge.
Although based in London, her work is culturally influenced by her native origin, Zulu and Ndebele heritage. She creates fashion with a contemporary sensibility and graphic use of pattern. In October 2015, she won Vogue Italia “Who’s On Next Dubai” competition. She has spoken at the United Nations on sustainability in fashion, has showcased her work at the Royal Festival Hall in London, The Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington and the Louisiana Museum in Denmark. Her work has been published in “Africa: Architecture, Culture and Identity”, Vogue Italia, Vogue UK, Elle Magazine and Marie Claire Magazine.