News Brief

Top 10 African Menswear Designers You Need To Know About

Here are 10 African menswear designers who we can't get enough of.

African inspired designs have been seen on runways, since the dawn of the western fashion industry. We possess an innate awareness of style rooted in culture and tradition.

The style aesthetics celebrate multiple ethnicities and nationalities. The garments are vibrant and electric.

Designers adhere strictly to standards of craftsmanship and design. They innovatively use textiles and prints to tell stories. They are passionate about displaying what home means to their global consumers.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 menswear designers and brands that stand out to us:

1. Ikiré Jones 

"Awake & At Home In America" 📸 @joshuakissi

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Philadelphia based attorney, musician, and designer Walé Oyéjidé partnered with musician and tailor Sam Hubler to start Ikiré Jones in 2012. The label marries classic art with an African aesthetic. The two men pride themselves on the fact that the items in their collections mean something. Their garments delve into how the West has impacted the African continent as well as migration. The pair’s work will soon be featured in the upcoming Black Panther film.

2. Daily Paper

In 2010, friends Hussein Suleiman form Somali, Jefferson Osei from Ghana, and Abderrahmane Trabsini from Morocco, founded the Dutch streetwear label, Daily Paper. With contemporary designs inspired by their African heritage, the men have made serious headway in the fashion industry. They’ve collaborated with Puma, notable Parisian retailer, colette, and Filling Pieces to name a few.

3. Simon and Mary

The Power of Collaboration. @trevor_stuurman x #Simonandmary featuring @dear_ribane113 & @kwenasays

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South African brand, Simon and Mary, has been worn by Will.i.am, Steve Tyler, as well as model and actor Masego “Maps” Maponyane. Dean Pozniak has transformed his family’s 70 year old millinery into a fashion-forward business known for its vibrant, unisex wool, felt, straw and leather hats. With fashion photographer and influencer, Trevor Stuurman, behind its visuals, it’s no wonder its imagery always excites.

4. Kente Gentlemen

Launched this year by its Ivoirien founder, Aristide Loua, Kente Gentlemen boasts a “poetic, colorful, and cultural universe.” With his premiere collection, he explores both color and the use of Baoulé wax material in making shorts, shirts, vests, and sweaters. His work is inspired by voyages and an exploration of heritage.

5. Dent de Man

In Britain in 2012, Ivorian designer Alexis Temomanin founded Dent de Man. The brand, named after a mountain in his homeland, is rooted in challenging men to dress “like themselves”. Much like the other designers on this list, Alexis’ early artistic direction came from a desire to display his roots and identify with a culture that wasn’t his own. His work is meticulously tailored and full of remarkable prints, surely due to close ties with VLISCO, Dutch print manufacturer.

When Alexis was a boy, he ventured to Abidjan with his mother and she abandoned him there. He holds his love of print comes from his quest to find the blue print his mother had on the last time he saw her. He also holds the prints we identify with most on the continent actually come from Indonesia and were brought to us by Dutch, French and English colonizers and the we accepted these prints because of their warmth and vibrance.

6. Rich Mnisi 

@francisbuseko wearing pieces from Xingelengele 🚀🚀 shoes by @clarksshoes #adayinclarks #clarksforlife

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South African Rich Mnisi’s 3 year old unisex brand blurs gender lines. It’s designs, though, minimal, are extremely vibrant. The aforementioned comes as no surprise when the brand’s inspiration comes from art, music, film and nature.

7. Lukhanyo Mdingi

25-year-old Lukhanyo Mdingi has created quite the resume. He is yet another creative that hails from South Africa and whose four collections are comprised of conventional silhouettes, an acute attention to detail, and sophistication beyond that of other designers like him.

8. Tokyo James

We have been twining since 1986 our SS16 Campaign

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British Nigerian designer Toyko James has a penchant for visuals that move his audiences. His collections are simple yet edgy. His passion can be seen in the cleanliness of his garments’ lines. He meticulously crafts each piece

9. MAISON CHÂTEAU ROUGE

@maisonchateaurouge x @betoncire x @ojoz

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In 2015, Senegalese brothers Youssouf and Mamadou Fofana founded Maison Château Rouge in Paris. The house specializes in streetwear pieces made with wax print.The first generation immigrants are hell bent on ensuring the african continent is at the center of their entrepreneurial projects.

Their minimalist concept store shines and speaks to Paris's undeniable grip on what it means to be stylish, while embracing Africa's influence on modern day fashion.

10. Teddy Ondo Ella

TEDDY ONDO ELLA SS18

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This summer Teddy Ondo Ella debuted his self-titled brand at New York Fashion Week. He did so with an Okuyi rite of passage and Gabonese dancers. It comes after Ella’s already established marketing agency, sneakers club and streetwear brand. With his new venture, he hopes to shed light on his country, Gabon, and others across the continent.

News Brief

Top 11 African Womenswear Designers You Need To Know

We’ve compiled a list of African womenswear designers and brands that stand out to us this year in celebration of African style.

African designers possess an innate awareness of style rooted in culture and tradition. The style aesthetics celebrate multiple ethnicities and nationalities; the garments are vibrant and electric.

Designers adhere strictly to standards of craftsmanship and design. They use textiles and prints to tell stories in an innovative way. They are passionate about displaying what home means to their global consumers.

In celebration of that, we’ve compiled a list of 11 African womenswear designers and brands that stand out to us this year. Take a look below.

1. Jermaine Bleu

Jason Asiedu is a Ghanaian designer whose work celebrates women’s curves and elegance. His garments flow effortlessly. His latest "Evolution" collection is meant to accompany the modern women from the start to end of her day. It is versatile and full of grace and poise. He is certainly a newcomer to watch.

2. Maki Oh

A post shared by Maki Oh Lagos (@maki.oh) on

Nigerian designer Amaka Osakwe’s label Maki Oh is comprised of intricately constructed pieces. She creates sexy clothing while combating what is conventionally deemed beautiful. Her garments so embrace the female physique that they have been worn by Michelle Obama, Lupita N'yongo, Solange Knowles, Leelee Sobieski, Alek Wek, Thandie Newton and Azaelia Banks. She fuses the aesthetics of her home and the West to create things that haven’t been seen in the realm of fashion. She is one of the continent’s most celebrated designers. Her upcoming Spring 2018 collection is sure to be nothing short of awe-inspiring.

3. Wana Sambo

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Nigeria's Wana Sambo produces timeless pieces for African woman like herself. The designer gives her consumers something they can feel sexy and confident in. She yearns for women to celebrate themselves at every stage in their life.

4. Bridget Awosika

Bridget Awosika hails from Lagos by way of Manhattan. Her collections speak to professionals and socialites alike. Her designs make their wearers feel ‘chic.’ They exude modern femininity. They are full of texture, movement, and sophistication.

5. Olori Swim

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Olori Swim was founded in Los Angeles by Nigerian couple Ibrahim Hasan and Dunnie Onasanya- Hasan. The brand celebrates all shapes and sizes of “melanin rich” women by providing them with luxury swimwear. It’s design are rich in color and call to mind royalty.

6. Recho Omondi

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Have you spotted those brightly colored sweatshirts on Issa Rae in Insecure episodes with the word “Niggas” hand stitched on them? Kenyan-American designer Recho Omondi is behind these masterpieces. Her eponymous brand thrives. It is well-constructed and makes it evident she is passionate about color, women and the black experience. Her garments sit upon models who look as unique as the pieces they wear.

7. William Okpo

Darlene and Lizzy Okpo started this brand named after their father in 2010. Their Nigerian parents’ style coupled with American culture serves as inspiration for their clothing. This juxtaposition gives way to an understanding of an immigrant’s sense of style.

8. Tongoro

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Senegalese media maven Sarah Diouf’s ready-to-wear label is based in Dakar and part of her push to keep making major waves in the fashion industry. It combines the care-free way of dressing in Senegal with that of Europeans. The label is comprised of pieces that are both playful and authentic.

9. Rich Factory

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Zambian designer Rina Chunga founded the contemporary label Rich Factory with a love of printed fabrics. In her factory based in Johannesburg, she deconstructs traditional silhouettes in wax print and turns them into unique pieces.

10. Gueras Fatim

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Senegalese-Guinean designer Fatoumata Guirassy tailors and embroiders impeccably. In 2015, she launched her line full of elegance and femininity. Much like the other designers on this list, she draws inspiration from her ancestry.

11. Nyorh Agwe

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Cameroonian designer Nyorh Agwe’s label is bold and eclectic. It celebrates individuality, while exploring the designer’s identity. The brand supports local artisans by being made in her homeland.

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