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.
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.