Fashion design in Africa is flourishing: low start-up costs and demand for high-quality garments has meant that new designers are creating successful brands which are attracting international attention.
Labels have also benefited from the development of institutions such as FAFA and Africa Fashion Week, which have provided designers with the necessary platform to exhibit their work and gain vital media coverage. We discover more about the African designers who are about to break into the mainstream.
The VanElse label has positioned itself as a high end fashion brand exclusively for women, with a target audience ranging from young upcoming - to established and successful businesswomen. VanElse’s showcase at the Africa fashion week London introduced us to a classic, vibrant and very talented. Else Hardjopawiro, the brain behind VanElse tells us that she always wanted to be a designer from when she was a little girl. She officially started designing in 2012 after she worked as CEO in different organizations.
Her dreams and sacrifice is finally paying off as her brand received a standing ovation at the Africa fashion week London. VanElse certainly is a brand to watch as the market for her classy, well-tailored and vibrant pieces are well within the rich, famous and classy spectrum.
“My dream is creating the most beautiful garments for all types of women all over the world, bringing out the inner beauty of every woman. A beauty which lies hidden in each and every women.” Said Else, when asked to tell us about her brand.
Talking about her collection showcased at the Africa fashion week London this year, Else says that “Officially this Spring Summer Collection 2016 will be my first real Collection. By showcasing at Africa Fashion Week London 2015, I want to share with the World my passion for colors by the African fabrics I use in my designs.” Those colors are definitely going to give you the attention you deserve Else!
NOIR by Ndeyfatou Cessay is an African inspired ready-to-wear fashion brand that is defined by style, not culture. Founded in January 2014, Noir boasts a highly appealing mixture of bohemian chic with west african inspired detailing.
Ndeyfatous is proud of her Gambian heritage and uses it to create bold and unique pieces. Her last collection at the Africa fashion week London involved Bai Faal bead work and classic tailoring. This unique blend of African and contemporary designs has commanded a following. Noir’s designs are steadily commanding a huge following that is sure to bring her more attention over the coming year.
THORA JEWELS is a London based bespoke hand-crafted jewellery and accessories designer that seeks to marry African aesthetic with structured jewelry production.
With a focus on quality and customer satisfaction, thora jewels company philosophy is clearly as artfully constructed as their work. The designers incorporate gemstones, crystals, pearls, fabrics, leather, metals, vintage finds etc to create their pieces, whilst ensuring that every piece is unique unto itself. Part of the brands' appeal comes from this sense of uniqueness.
Their showing at the Africa fashion week London was highly successful as they brought a freshness to jewelry designs that we haven’t seen In a long while. Thora Jewels is definitely one to watch in the coming year.
AIMEEKU is a newly established African inspired clothing brand based in Taiwan, a new tribe of fashion designed with lots of wax prints, colourful tweed, colored denim, picturesque patterns and more. T he S/S 2016 collection "Blossom" presented at the Africa fashion week London 2015 was as inspiring as it was beautiful- A true blossoming of creative, raw talent.
AIMEEKU’s collection has commanded the following it richly deserves and we are watching this vibrant talent as she makes waves and breaks into new markets in coming years.