Top Fashion Designers In Africa – By Sesona Khumalo / Monday 7 October 2019 12:43 / Leave a Comment / Tags: Amanda Laird Cherry, David Tlale, Fashion, Linda Gale, Mzukisi Mbane, Sindiso Khumalo
The South African fashion industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. In 2016, revenue from the local South African clothing, textile footwear and leather industry was estimated at R55 billion.
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There has been an increase in the number of fashion designers who are very creative and have influenced fashion design and the fashion industry in South Africa.
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Amanda Cherry is one of the leading South African fashion designers based in Durban. She studied fashion design and graduated in 1983. After graduating, she first worked for two fashion stores before joining Instinct, a sportswear brand.
Due to her extensive experience in the industry, she has been able to produce excellent fashion designs for both men and women and also runs her own brand
Her products have gained popularity throughout South Africa and beyond. She participates in the annual Durban Designer Collection fashion show in South Africa on numerous occasions where she showcases her products and designs.
Her products have also been shown in major European cities such as London during London Fashion Week.
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Sindiso Khumalo is a textile designer based in Cape Town. She studied architecture at the University of Cape Town before moving to London where she pursued postgraduate studies at Master’s level.
She designs the textiles in her collections by hand through watercolors and collages, and she has also founded her eponymous label with a strong focus on creating more durable textiles.
Her work has been exhibited at the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Zeitz Mocaa Museum, Cape Town.
Her work has also been published in Vogue Italia, Vogue UK, Elle Magazine and Marie Claire Magazine and “Africa: Architecture, Culture and Identity.
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Mzukisi Mbane was born in Khayelitsa, South Africa. He taught himself everything he knows about fashion design using his mother’s old sewing machine and eventually became one of South Africa’s leading fashion designers.
He has a label called Imprintz which he founded in 2011 and has also been featured in fashion weeks across South Africa.
Based in Cape Town, Mbane holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He started his company,
David Tlale is among the best fashion designers in South Africa. In 2009, he won the Fashion Designer of the Year award at the Africa Fashion Awards in Johannesburg. He has also received international recognition among social philanthropists.
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His work has been shown at Cape Town Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Tlale has also designed collections for major retailers such as Edgars. Interestingly, he was the first South African fashion designer to show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City in 2012.
Linda Gale is Creative Director and Owner of Stitch and Steel at Gale and Gayle Pty Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa. The Stich and Steel company was founded by herself and involves creating items from authentic materials sourced from all over South Africa.
She tends to focus more on womenswear and design. However, there is also a selection of men’s items such as ties and patterned shirts. Africa has been coming into the spotlight of the fashion world. Alongside American and European designers, many African designers and brands, including Nigerian and South African as the most successful, are developing new trends in the fashion world. Read the article below to learn more about the top 10 world famous African fashion designers.
African fashion entered the global style game long ago, however, modern fashion is something completely unique. Inspired by colors, sounds, traditional African fabrics, prints and accessories as well as the cultural heritage of Africa, the top designers are making a huge difference and huge waves in the fashion world.
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Fashionable, well-crafted pieces by top African designers are exported and often commissioned by celebrities such as Michelle Obama and Lupita Nyong’o.
In support of African fashion designers, award winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who recently launched the ‘Wear Nigerian Campaign’ announced a new project through her Facebook page where she wrote:
“Over the past few weeks, I have bought more Nigerian brands than ever before. I have discovered new names. I am filled with admiration for women and men who run their businesses despite the many challenges they face. I’m particularly interested in inward-looking brands, ones where dressing Nigerian women is as important as other goals.”
The aim of her campaign was to encourage people to buy from African designers to boost the local fashion industry.
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African designers are known for winning many awards for their work, so let’s take a look at the top 10 fashion designers who are putting African fashion on the global map. Please note that there is no particular order in our summary.
If architecture and fashion meet, they create an amazing combination. Sindiso Khumalo is one of South Africa’s most prominent designers whose works feature bright colours, bold prints and modern silhouettes. They are designed for women who want to stand out. Khumalo’s architectural background helps her create new trends in African and international fashion. Sindiso Khumalo is combining his architectural knowledge with his sewing skills to find new elegant and stylish solutions. Sindiso Khumalo is good at creating dynamic and chic pieces that are affordable and hand stitched by local South African women.
It is interesting to note that Khumalo’s clothing is exhibited in museums and has been featured in some African and international magazines such as Architecture, Culture, and Identity, Vogue Italia, Vogue UK and others.
Mozambican designer Taibo Bacar is known to be one of the most talented and sought after designers who are famous in Africa and Europe. Taibo Bacar often attends numerous fashion events including Africa International Fashion Week and African Fashion Week Johannesburg to name a few. He is the first African designer to show his designs in Milan.
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Taibo Bacar has carved out his own niche in the world of fashion. Taibo Bacar is considered one of the leading designers in Africa.
Fashion designer Taibo Bacar inherited a love of fashion from his seamstress mother. While pursuing a career in business but as often happens, one day he got bored at the office and decided to leave everything behind.
While living in Spain, he studied fashion, which laid the foundation for his new career. His haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces are loved by women for their flattering silhouettes, high-quality materials. Using specialized cutting techniques, his clothing flatters the female form which is most important when it comes to a sense of comfort and beauty.
Lisa Folawiyo’s stylish, traditional and colorful clothes earned her respectability in the world of fashion.
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Talking about Lisa Folawiyo’s style, she is truly a talented designer famous in Africa and abroad. The truth is that she didn’t study design or fashion as she studied law at university. Nevertheless, Lisa decided to pursue a career in fashion as she was interested in jewelry, purses and clothing that people like to wear and dreamed of creating clothing that would combine traditional African accents with modern fabrics.
If you find Ankara textiles, African prints captivating, you will definitely like pieces created by Lisa Folawiyo. Her work is featured in such international media houses as Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Wear Daily Vogue, Gotham, Style.com, The New York Times and more. Lisa Folawiyo is a Nigerian fashion designer who owns the Jewel by Lisa Group which includes brands such as Jewel by, The J label, Pretty Precious.
Among the celebrities adding their pieces to their wardrobes are Lupita Nyong’o, Solange Knowles, Beyonce, Kelis, Tasha Smith, Eve and more. Lisa Folawiyo’s collections have been exhibited in Nigeria, Lagos, South Africa, Milan, London, New York, Paris, etc.
Lisa Folawiyo has participated in fashion shows such as New York Fashion Week 2010 and Paris Fashion Week 2010 to name a few. She won the African Fashion Award in 2012. In 2015, the BOF500, a prestigious list of global brands, featured Lisa Folawiyo among the top brands influencing global fashion.
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Each of her handmade pieces requires about 250 hours of work. She creatively mixes Ankara and other traditional West African fabrics with the latest sewing techniques. Folawiyo also manufactures accessories, namely jewelry and wallets.
Duro Olowu is a truly talented designer who made a name for himself. He was born in Nigeria and now lives in London. Apart from being Nigerian, Duro Olowu also has Jamaican roots.
Duro Olowu was interested in fashion from childhood when he was only six years old. Despite studying law at university, he decided to pursue a career in fashion.
This designer is undoubtedly a world-renowned and respected personality in the fashion industry. He is best known for his compositions
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