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Photo courtesy of Nsimba Valene Lontanga.

NextGen: Nsimba Valene Lontanga Is Using Art Direction and Trend Research to Highlight Africa's Diversity

The Congolese art director, fashion designer and entrepreneur is on a mission to foster the power African creatives already have.

This week, we published short profiles, essays and interviews on the theme of "Afrofutures". Together these stories were a deep dive into the way African and diaspora thinkers, technologists and artists view a future for Africans in the world and outside of it.

Take a look at our introduction to Afrofuturism here, with the second edition of the conversation here.

We've highlighted and celebrated young, leading talents who already put into practice what a future with black people look like through their work in the return of our profile series, 'NextGen.'

Nsimba Valene Lontanga is an art director, fashion designer, trend forecaster and entrepreneur hailing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bombshell intriguingly holds many hats. She has launched a line based in Ghana, Libaya, lingala for 'women's top' and more recently, Fofa, "an online database offering an archive of trailblazers influencing the African narrative."

Lontanga's love of fashion unsurprisingly comes from a Congolese upbringing in which her parents placed a heavy emphasis on how they dressed and presented themselves. She was raised in the Netherlands and has always had a desire to create. Lontanga began painting to reflect an Africa she was proud of. Later, she studied trend research and concept design and decided to do a project related to trend forecasting on the African continent. It is through her research that she discovered creatives telling stories pertaining to the Africa she always imagined. Everything naturally progressed from here.

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Louis Philippe de Gagoue. Photo courtesy of the artist.

NextGen: Louis Philippe de Gagoue Is the Dynamic Photographer Who Thrives Off of Spontaneity

Meet the Cameroonian-Ivorian photographer who's creating forward thinking editorials on his own terms.

This week, we'll be publishing short profiles, essays and interviews on the theme of "Afrofutures". Together these stories will be a deep dive into the way African and diaspora thinkers, technologists and artists view a future for Africans in the world and outside of it.

Take a look at our introduction to Afrofuturism here, with the second edition of the conversation here.

We'll highlight and celebrate young, leading talents who already put into practice what a future with black people look like through their work in the return of our profile series, 'NextGen.'

Cameroonian-Ivorian photographer, stylist and art director, Louis Philippe de Gagoue, has an eye whose work has landed him in Vogues across the world, France's L'Officiel, Elle, Nylon, Dubai's Brownbook and Germany's Blonde.

For de Gagoue, fashion has no borders. His portfolio is a unique blend of his African heritage alongside the Western and Far Eastern worlds. He's often described as vibrant, quirky and cool. His aesthetic is unbounded; it's home to culturally loaded settings, androgyny, jarring colors and compositions. We, the viewers, are transported to his imagination—his work offers a sort of escapism.

Though signed to Paris's notable Artsphere agency, he bounces from France to Cameroon to Ivory Coast to Morocco and celebrates not having citizenship to a Western country, for when he is famous, "No one will be able to disassociate him from the African continent."

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Self-portrait. Photo by Stephanie Nnamani, courtesy of the artist.

NextGen: Teff Theory on How the Use of Color Leads Her Home

An in-depth conversation with the Nigerian visual artist on her thoughtful creative process, influences and more.

This week, we'll be publishing short profiles, essays and interviews on the theme of "Afrofutures." Together these stories will be a deep dive into the way African and diaspora thinkers, technologists and artists view a future for Africans in the world and outside of it.

Take a look at our introduction to Afrofuturism here.

We'll highlight and celebrate young, leading talents who already put into practice what a future with black people look like through their work in the return of our profile series, 'NextGen.'

Stephanie Nnamani, also known as Teff Theory, is the Nigerian visual artist, essayist, photographer and self-portraitist whose art is comprised of a distinct use of color. Hailing from Enugu, the creative's work serves as a form of spirituality and dissection of identity, culture, personal development and self-expression.

Her gaze is that of an individual going through life's hurdles as a black woman, a first-generation immigrant and a surveyor of life's many color palettes. Check out our talk with her below.

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