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Top 14 African Fashion Designers You Need to Know

Africa is a melting pot of black culture and identity. Which is why our expression of fashion and design is varied and diverse. In this article, we celebrate top 14 African fashion designers who have succeeded in expressing our black culture and diversity to the world.

Photo: Instagram

Lisa Folawiyo

Nigerian fashion designer Lisa Folawiyo is widely known for blending West African traditional print with modern tailoring techniques. Her fashion label, Jewel by Lisa is a collection of artistry, culture and modernization. Her works have been considered afrofuturistic.

Photo: Instagram

Folake Folarin Coker

The creative director of Tiffany Amber, Folake Folarin Coker is a Nigerian fashion designer and stylist with an eye for creativity, sophistry and culture.  For over twenty years, Folake Folarin has consistently topped the list of influential designers who are shaping the world’s perception of African fashion.

Photo: Instagram

Lanre Da Silva Ajayi

The creative director of LDA, this creative Nigerian designer continues to remain relevant in the game. Her sense of fashion is contemporary and modern with hints of African heritage highlights and persona. Since she came in view in 2005, Lanre remains a force to reckon with in the African fashion industry.

Photo: Instagram

Selly Rabby Kane

Selly is a new generational creative and designer who is passionate about redefining the perception of African design. Her style is eclectic, strong and a tad uninhibited. Using three dimensional mould shapes, fake hair, PVC, Selly proves that design and art is all around us. Her designs have been worn by American diva queen Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell.

Photo: Instagram

Omer Asim

Sudan born Omer Asim launched his label, Omer Asim in 2011 and has since placed Africa in the centre stage. Using modern shapes, cuts and African prints fused with primitive designs, Omer has created designs that are original, timeless and worth celebrating.

Dumebi Iyamah

Nigerian born Dumebi Iyamah is the brains behind eclectic fashion label, Andrea Iyamah. Andrea Iyamah is a collection of swim wear made from vibrant African prints, design and cuts. Apart from swim wear, Andrea Iyamah also sells custom made and ready to wear event dresses. Dumebi Iyamah currently works in Ontario Canada.

Photo: Instagram

Laduma Ngxokolo

Born in South Africa, Laduma is one of Africa’s finest knit wear designer. In 2011, he created Maxhosa by Laduma, a fashion label for producing premium knit wear designs created with Xhosa beadwork aesthetics, South African mohair and wool. Laduma is passionate about pushing the Xhosa culture to the future.

Photo: Instagram

Akosua Afriyie-Kumi

Ghanian born Akosua is the brains behind the fashion brand, Aaks, a line of handcrafted bags. Using locally sourced materials like leather and raffia and engaging the work of local artisans, Akosua not only celebrates her Ghanian heritage but also creates employment for local artisans. Her bags are characterized by bright colors, and unique styles each with a story to tell.

Photo: Instagram

Liya Kebebe

Ethiopian designer and fashion model Liya is the CEO of LemLem, a fashion label which describes itself as socially conscious. The fashion line is an eclectic mix of dresses, bottoms, tops and accessories that are made from locally sourced materials and handcrafted by local artisans in Addis Ababa. Liya is passionate about preserving traditional Ethiopian weaving techniques.

Photo: Instagram

Sindiso Khumalo

South African Sindiso Khumalo is a London based textile designer. Sindiso is focused on creating sustainable modern textile handcrafted designs that are rich in African heritage. Sindiso studied architecture at the University of Cape Town before getting a Masters in Design for textile futures.

Photo: Instagram

Loza Maléombho

Ivorian Loza Maléombho created her fashion label in 2009 because she was passionate about blending Ivorian heritage with modern fashion. In 2012, she relocated her fashion studio from New York to Cote d’Ivoire and has partnered with more local artisans that are also passionate about pushing Ivorian traditions to the global front. Her fashion label is an eclectic celebration of the old and new, the traditional and the afrofuturistic.

Ian Audifferen

Nigerian born Ian is the creative director of the fashion men’s wear, Tzar studios. Tzar Studios is a fashion wear that focuses on designs and styles that suit the modern African man. These designs are made using African prints, contemporary cuts and modern styles.

Photo: Instagram

Lilian K. Danieli

This Tanzanian designer is the creative director of Nashona, a women wear clothing line that deals with 100% cotton kangas and kitenges. Lilian works from North Carolina and is intentional in advertising her Tanzanian heritage to the global community.

Photo: Instagram

Bernie Seb

Born in Burkina Faso, Bernie is the creative genius behind the fashion label, De La Sebure. This menswear fashion label is focused on fusing African colours with European cuts to create a modern yet cultural identity for men. From kimonos to suits, to chemises and turbans, Bernie creates bold fashion statements using the traditional Burkina woven loincloth, Faso Dan Fani.

So there you have it! We will continue to be on the look out for new designers who are shaping the world’s perception of fashion in Africa.