African Fashion Designers we love in 2021
- The Wire’s African Designer loves for 2021
- Nkwo Onwuka and Dakala Cloth
- Maxhosa, the evolution of his creative legacy
- Kenneth Ize, new kid on the block
African designers did not skip a beat as the pandemic locked the world down. Rather, our fashion creatives continue to take their visions, style and sartorial genius to the world. We waited for no one, dropping trends, sewing up imagination and inspiring fashionistas with aplomb. From the design studios, to virtual ramps, The Wire brings you three Designers to keep a close eye on.
Nigerian-born designer Nkwo Onwuka initially cultivated an Afro-Bohemian chic aesthetic, in 2007, then relaunched her brand in 2012 with a new ideology and vision: Environmental consciousness. Embracing traditional textile handcrafts and preserving the artisanal legacies and skills in local communities, the conceptual pivot explored weaving techniques using leftover denim, resulting in a new African fabric, Dakala cloth. The team developed it through a technique that involves stripping and sewing together sections of waste fabric. Once recreated into clothing, the looks combine Afro-futurism and African heritage into seamless expressions of an African tomorrow filled with stylish possibilities. Nkwo is an avid believer that through fashion, Africa can be positively portrayed.
Founder and one of the South Africa’s most highly regarded knitwear designers, Laduma Ngxokolo keeps building his creative legacy with effortless, forward thinking Afro-centric design. He continues to push the boundaries of his heavy use of traditional Xhosa beadwork and premium South African materials, mohair and wool, whilst keeping a design aesthetic firmly focused on a future sublimely propelled by his heritage. The looks are collectible eye-catching pieces for both men and women and his style comes in hard and modern for 2021, some of it inspired by the clothes Laduma designed & made for the royal household of Zamunda in the recently-released classic cult comedy sequel, Coming To America 2.
Kenneth Ize’s arrival into the world of fashion is already legend. He was a finalist for the coveted LVMH Prize for 2019, and was mentioned personally by the chief editor of American Vogue, Anna Wintour. The Nigerian designer boldly rocks African two-piece outfits with vivid prints, confidently accessing vibrant colours and turning the sartorial combination into his signature style.
C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.
WHERE TO FIND US
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER