January 25, 2014

Africa's Finest: Top 10 African Designers

The 2nd edition to our INSIDE AFRICA series is all about Africa's Top 10 fashion designers.
Today we share with you African designers that are have made a significant contributaion not only to fashion in Africa and their respect countries but in the world as well. It's true to say that the world has long moved on from the idea of African design being simply African centered. In the past couple of years it has made it onto catwalks in Paris, New York, Milan and beyond. And as with any competitive market, there will always be new talent changing the game.
In African fashion today, names like Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi, Thula Sindi, Deola Segoe, Ozwald Boateng and more are praised in the hallways of fashion houses. 

Here is the list of Africa's finest (in no particular order);

1)Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi (Nigeria) founder of the eponymous design label. In seven years her passion for fashion has gotten stronger making the label a fashion favorite among the media, celebrities and fashion lovers. LDA the brand first arrived in the fashion scene in 2005 with iconic 1940's couture signature designs - a result of what has evolved into a much more modern and cutting-edge brand and a full-blown fashion house. The label's collection includes couture, prêt a porter, and accessories such as hairpieces and statement jewellery.

2)Thula Sindi (SouthAfrica)-Fashion designer Thula Sindi is a young, multi-award-winning South African fashion designer from Johannesburg. His work has graced many runways in the past few years, including those in Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Lagos and Paris.
Following his success at the 2012 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, arguably the premier event on the SA fashion calendar, Sindi has been hailed as ‘the next big thing’.
3)Deola Segoe (Nigeria)Deola Sagoe is an haute couture fashion designer from the Ondo State in Nigeria. Sagoe began designing in 1998 and has gained international notoriety for her lively, and colorful designs. She was recently appointed to represent Nigeria in a new international campaign organized by the United Nations World Food Program.
Sagoe frequently exhibits her couture collection at Cape Town Fashion Week and has been an invited guest ofNew York Fashion Week in the past. Sagoe has won the “Africa Designs” and the MNET/ Anglo Gold African designs 2000 awards for which she was nominated by Andre Leon Tally, US Vogue editor. She has also has famous fans such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith.
4)Ozwald Boateng (Ghana)- an English fashion designer of Ghanaian descent, known for his trademark twist on classic British tailoring and bespoke style. LVMH President Bernard Arnault appointed Boateng Creative Director of Menswear at French Fashion house Givenchy.His first collection was shown in July 2004 in Paris, at Hotel de Ville.Boateng parted with Givenchy after the Spring 2007 collection.
5) Ernest Mahomane (South Africa)- Trained by Gavin Rajah, Ernest Mahomane's label could easily pass off as one that has been in the business for many years. The label opened the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2013 with an amazing combination of white and red dresses with gathered tulle, fitted bustiers and enhanced shoulder cuts that were as daring and serene as its Spring/Summer 2013/14 collection. His work has seen him become a quickly loved African desginer.

6) David Tlale ( South Africa)- Over the past 10 years since he launched his brand in 2003 winning the "Elle New Talent in South Africa, and being noted as the Best Designer by the Sunday Times in South Africa, this award winning designer David Tlale has proven that he is indeed a design force with creations that go far beyond expectations.
The year 2005 was a testimony of a great journey unfolding when Tlale was appointed "Head Designer for Carducci Woman" under the House of Monatic Group in Cape Town South Africa.
In 2007 Tlale focused on growing the David Tlale movement, and was one of the 4 young South African Fashion designers to be selected to present their Couture Collection during Paris Couture week. This was the turning point for the brand where Tlale began to view his brand through the eyes of the world.
2008 was a fruitful one for the David Tlale brand; a year in which Tlale: was voted the most stylish designer at the South African Style Awards, he was also voted Mzansi's South Africa's Star Designer of the year. Nominated for the Mercedes-Benzes Fashion and Art Awards along with many other accolades and nominations, Tlale was invited to judge the Elle New Talent competition a place where his journey in fashion began.

7)Marianne Fassler- After having spent two decades in the fashion business. She now operates from Leopard Frock, her creative workshop in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. She sells garments and separates off the peg and also consults with individual clients by appointment. Leopard Frock is a very relaxed environment where everybody is made to feel at home.
Her work is always superbly crafted, interesting and comfortable. She appeals to a wide spectrum of women who love individuality, identity, craftsmanship and diversity in their wardrobe.

8- Gavin Rajah (South Africa) is a South African born designer. He works out of his atelier based in Cape Town and regularly shows at Paris Fashion Week (Couture). He uses his visibility and fashion events to bring awareness to various child related issues. Gavin Rajah has been appointed by the United Nations as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

9) Milq And Honey (South Africa)- This up and coming brand is definitely one to keep your eyes on

10) Fenix Couture ( Nigeria)- Another up and coming brand to watch!

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