The fashion world has recently received African fashion designers who compete squarely with their counterparts from other continents.
These hot designers have dressed celebrities, showcased in many global runways, and have graced the cover of many fashion magazines, among others.
Inspired by culture, trends, and other factors, they have created aesthetic pieces that have been celebrated globally.
Learn about the ten hot African fashion designers here.
1. Thebe Magugu
Thebe Magugu is a fashion designer from Kimberly in South Africa. He graduated from STADIO (formerly LISOF) in 2015 after studying fashion design, fashion photography, and fashion media.
Upon graduation, he set off for an internship with top brands and designers for two years before starting his brand, which he called Thebe Magugu, run from Johannesburg.
His brand is focused on producing ready-to-wear designs for women drawing inspiration from native South African culture blended into modern styles. He aims at letting female folks explore their creativity.
Thebe Magugu was nominated and later won the 2019 LVMH prize for young designers. This achievement is a result of his aesthetic creations and fabulous themes.
2. Adebayo Oke-Lawal
Adebayo Oke-Lawal, a Nigerian fashion designer, produces excellent stories of Nigerian history in his designs.
In 2011 at 20 years of age, he left his job in the oil industry and ventured into fashion, founding his brand and clothing line Orange Culture.
The themes of his brand are focused mainly on conservative male fashion, with most of his designs been patches of bold colors on African Nigerian fabrics.
He is out for masculine fashion and was a finalist at the 2014 edition of the LVMH Prize that brings together international designers.
3. Akosua Afriyie-Kumi
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi is a Ghanaian fashion designer and the founder of the fashion brand AAKS, launched in 2014.
Her brand AAKS combines ancient crafts and modern ideas to produce unique luxury raffia bags popular in her tribe in Ghana. She said she grew up making basket bags, and this has inspired her brand today.
She sources her fabrics and materials from the local market. Attributes resulted in her title as a rising African fashion designer acclaimed by top fashion magazines like Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, and Forbes.
4. Eva Rogo Levenez
Eva Rogo Levenez, the brain behind Ler Ligisa, is a Kenyan designer whose maternal grandfather and mother are designers. You could say that fashion designing is in her family, and Eva learned most of her skills from home.
She believes in her mother’s philosophy of finishing her garments by hand sewing. She combines the French Je nais se quios on fabrics from Kenya to produce her masterpieces. She operates her brand Ler Ligisa from Paris.
Her brand and clothing line, which comprises pants, playsuits, headwear, coats, blouses, and dresses, are all made from fabrics from Kenya, especially the massi shuka, khanga, and kikoy materials. A good symbol of how well she values her origin.
5. Sarah Diouf
Sarah Diouf is of Senegal origin and the founder of the accessories and clothing brand – Tongoro. She presently resides in Paris but grew up in Cote d’Ivoire.
She is a professional stylist, entrepreneur, and editor of several magazines. She is the director of ‘Made in Africa’, a documentary featuring textile and fashion in Africa.
She believes in making Africa fashion known to the world as original as it has always been. That tells why she produces impressive and vibrant pieces.
Many fashionable celebrities have been slaying her brand, including Burna boy, Alicia Keys, Naomi Campbell. The most popular is Beyonce’s video “spirit,” where she was spotted wearing Tongoro’s durag and suit.
6. Kassim Lassissi
Kassim Lassissi is a native of Benin and the creative director of Alledjo. He was raised across Togo, Benin, and France and stayed in South Korea and New York City. He is a graduate of Literature and Business Administration in Paris.
In 2017, he established his brand Alledjo with branches in Cotonou and Dakar. His brand is inspired by travel for travelers, and Alledjo is a Yoruba word that means Traveler.
He celebrates African culture by dedicating his collections of incredible apparel to different destinations in the African continent using their textiles.
7. Nadir Tati
Born on 1st September 1974, Nadir Tati is an Angolan fashion designer also advocating for human rights and African arts. Her designs reveal contemporary African styles.
She was the first African and Angolan that has had her brand featured and worn to Hollywood Oscars award by a nominee Rachel Mwanza in 2013.
She was awarded the winner of Best Designer of Angola Prize from 2010 to 2014 consecutively. She also has won Angola Diva of Fashion 2011 and 2012, including Diva of the Year in 2012.
She is one of the figures in African fashion. Her collections went down runways in Milan, Portugal, South Africa, Belgium, South Korea, Germany, Mexico, and the United States of America.
Her designs tell stories of African pride, history, and plans. She hopes that her collections inspire women to bring out their best.
8. Taibo Bacar
Taibo Bacar is a fashion designer originally from Mozambique. He is famous across Africa and Europe for his unique pieces and collections.
He complements the beauty of females through his unique designs and ready-to-wear pieces made from high-class materials made with love.
Taibo Bacar was the first designer from African to have shown Milan his designs. His designs have graced runways at African Fashion Week Johannesburg, Africa International Fashion Week, among other events.
He was a business administration, but his passion for fashion from his mother, a seamstress, made him leave his career, study fashion in Spain, and become a full-time fashion designer.
9. Lisa Folawiyo
Lisa Folawiyo is a big name in the fashion industry and is inspiring Nigerian Ankara prints by giving them elaborate adornment.
This law graduate has a great passion for designing and producing contemporary clothing, purses, and jewelry, mainly with Ankara fabrics.
Lisa Folawiyo is the founder of Jewel by Lisa brand and has featured in many fashion prints, including The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Gotham, and lots more.
10. Rich Mnisi
Rich Mnisi is a contemporary South African Fashion Designer that graduated in 2014 from LISOF after studying Fashion Design and Business Management.
He is the brain behind Oat Studio and the winner of the 2014 edition of the African Fashion international Young designer.
Rich Mnisi’s collection celebrates South African tradition and splendor, as can be seen by his preference in displaying his collections in huts, oceans, fields, and other local environments.
Apart from his clothing designs, he also produces furniture designs. He collaborates with Johnie Walker, Southern Guild, and Coco-Cola.
Who is the most famous fashion designer in South Africa?
South Africa has a large number of significant designers with international recognition. In no particular order, some of the most famous fashion designers in South Africa and their brands are as follows;
Jacques van der Watt (Black Coffee), Mzukisi Mbane (Imprint), Wandile Zondo (Thesis Lifestyle), Anisa Mpungwe (Loin Cloth & Ashes), David Tlale, Linda Gale (Stitch & Steel), Marianne Fassler, Palesa Mokubung (Mantsho), among others.
Who is the most successful fashion designer in Nigeria?
Considering the high rate of competition and how you get reports of emerging fashion designers launching their brands, it is difficult to say who the most successful is.
Notwithstanding, a couple of these designers have had their names mentioned in almost all fashion design lists; Deola Sagoe, Folake Akindele Coker, Duro Ojowu, Zizi Cardow, Ohimai Atafo, Frank Oshodi, Lola Faturoti, Lisa Folawiyo, to mention a few.
Despite all odds African fashion designers faced, these designers listed here are among the many that thrive and are already making tremendous impacts in the industry.
They combine their creativity, knowledge, and originality to produce masterpieces observed by global brands, making them stand out.