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Photo Credit: Hogoé Kpessou

Hogoé Kpessou is the New Face of African Luxury

In less than two years, Hogoé Kpessou and her self-titled womenswear label has blown up thanks to the popularity of her leather handbags.

What is luxury when not white and dripping with European heritage? This is the question that Togolese-American designer Hogoé Kpessou is trying to answer. Her namesake womenswear label is winning over a small following with its leather handbags. They are crafted as messenger backpacks, saddle bags, purses, and rendered in a variety of colors like hunter green, honey brown, and lavender. But it’s the ingenious details that elevates the product, the cresting of bumblebees and fireflies.

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Kimberly Anthony’s Bold Take On Fashion

Dubbed one of the coolest fashionistas in Paris, the Togolese creative talks her brand G.Y.D. Studio, journey up the fashion echelons and creating clothes that encourage authenticity.

Dressed immaculately in a swathe of angles and textures, Kimberly Anthony welcomes me with an enormous smile while elegantly seated upright. She is as pristine as I expected, but the explosive laughter that shakes her entire body throughout our chat reveals a soulful woman with a spirit so generous, even she can't contain it.

The Paris-based tastemaker-cum-model, known as @Kimberlyskinny on Instagram, may have gone down the habitual path of having enough social media followers to warrant creating her own clothing brand, but hers has been a full circle and earnest journey. To bring her bold vision to life, the Togolese creative worked with local artisans back in Lomé. Her collection of oversized garments invoke long, hot summer days and make a mockery of formalities.

Born in Togo and briefly raised in Ghana, at age seven Kimberly moved to Paris' stark and unfamiliar streets — which now at 26, she inhabits with ease. Her brand G.Y.D. Studio has created a stir beyond her own expectations — she is suddenly in higher demand than ever. With her confidence deservedly overflowing, she raises her glass with a toast to my first question.

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