African Fashion Brands – The fashion space in Africa was quite an interesting and eventful one in 2023, from new additions and programs at the Lagos Fashion Week to independent fashion shows springing up to further celebrate the intersection of fashion and culture. Even with this, the new year holds more promise for the fashion space in the country. As seen at the last edition of the Lagos Fashion Week, the debut presentations perfectly demonstrated the fresh set of remarkable talent that should be on your fashion radar in 2024.
7 Emerging African Fashion Brands
Whether it’s Kilentar’s timeless pieces or Anike Ologe’s corporate womenswear, some brilliant designers are shifting the narrative of the African fashion landscape. Below are the independent brands on the fast track to becoming fashion names in Africa.
Infusing the essence of Africa into timeless pieces for the modern woman is the main focus of Michelle Adepoju. The womenswear brand has a fiercely feminine aesthetic and a vision for sustainable elegance, with pieces either influenced by various artistic movements throughout history or the dynamic currents of modern arts.
Mindful purpose and regenerative fashion are the two pillars of Lila Bare, where timeless contemporary designs are rooted in ancient craft. Infusing Kenyan craftsmanship and Indian tailoring, designer Ria Ana Sejpal is known for upcycling and incorporating historic concepts in her designs.
Established in 2017 with a debut presentation of its collection, “A Woman Wearing A Suit” at the Lagos Fashion Week, Kente Gentlemen’s designs have always showcased neo-tailoring techniques applied to feminine silhouettes, breathed into life with vibrant colours. Based in Côte d’Ivoire, the brand has a mission of fostering ethical means of production and consumption of clothing.
Fashion designer Esan Jennifer’s goal is to revolutionize the industry, by building a thriving community of inspiring women. From the corporate womenswear section to the bridal wear that represents the epitome of sophistication and beauty, Anike Ologe wants to make fashion easier for women who comprehend the transformative power that clothing holds in enabling them to feel their absolute best.
A women’s and men’s wear brand created whilst romanticizing movement, Sisiano is a gift to the modern-day human. With Sisiano, dance artist Paolo Sisiano has created a niche revolving in his orbit making statements that speak louder than words.
Founded by Nkwo Onwuka in the United Kingdom, Nkwo is an artisanal brand at the forefront of the sustainable design movement in Nigeria. Each ready-to-wear piece uses traditional West African weaving, beading, hand-dyeing, and embroidery. The designer created her fabric using a modern strip weaving technique called “Dakala.” This hand-loomed upcycled fabric has a distinctively rich feel and is featured in each collection.
Think of a fashion brand that highlights the core African traditions and craftsmanship but in a more modern fashion, that still tackles fashion waste and leaves a very minimal carbon footprint in the environment and you have Éki Kéré.