These 5 African Designers Showed Up and Showed Out During Paris Fashion Week

Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Jiamini

African designers Lukhanyo Mdingi, Jennifer Mulli of Jiamini, Margaux Rosita of Margaux Wong, Mohamed Awale of Suave Kenya and Louise Sommerlatte of Hamaji, presented their SS22 collections during Paris Fashion Week through the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), a program which introduces new designers to an international market.  Ranging from jewelry, ready-to-wear, and accessories, the EFI designers were mentored and supported by leading industry veterans, including EFI Head and Founder Simone Cipriani, Hirofumi Kurino, a co-founder of United Arrows, and actress Dakore Egbuson-Akande. Since the completion of the program, the sustainable fashion brands are on their way to a bright future that heralds their African heritage and their continent’s specular craftsmanship and designs. Their contemporary artistry fused with artisanal and ancient techniques redefined the term “made in Africa.”

Check out a few of the pieces from the designers below:

Hamaji

Designer Name: Louise Sommerlatte

Based: Kilifi, Kenya

Category: Ready-to-Wear

Collection Inspiration: The Hamaji Sailing Home collection encompasses the elements of both the land and the sea, plus the contours and colors of the ocean on Kenya’s East Coast.

Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Hamaji
Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Hamaji

Jiamini

Designer Name: Jennifer Mulli

Based: Nairobi, Kenya

Category: Accessories

Collection Inspiration: The brand’s Mung’ung’uti collection is an exploration of the spine as a compelling organic form, a grounding foundational structure and as a symbol of the backbone of life.

Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Jiamini
Jiamini’s Syokimau leather clutch, featuring a brass spine embellished grip band, and the Yatta earrings, a pair of 18k gold-plated brass vertebra studs with descending beaded fringe spirals. Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Jiamini

Margaux Wong

Designer Name: Margaux Rusita

Based: Bujumbura, Burundi

Category: Jewelry

Collection Inspiration: Rusita’s Daisy capsule collection is an ode to one of nature’s most resilient flowers. It features daisy-shaped and abstracted petal-based designs in the brand’s signature horn and brass combination.

Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Margaux Wong
Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Margaux Wong

Lukhanyo Mdingi

Designer Name: Lukhanyo Mdingi

Based: Cape Town, South Africa

See Also

Category: Ready-to-Wear

Collection Inspiration: South African visual artist Jeanne Gaigher collaborated with the brand on some of its select unique hand-dyed organic cotton pieces .

Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Lukhanyo Mdingi
Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Lukhanyo Mdingi

Suave Kenya

Designer Name: Mohamed Awale

Based: Nairobi, Kenya

Category: Accessories

Collection Inspiration: Workwear staples (Nairo backpack and Hali messenger bag) to off-duty companions (the Ronga weekender and Westy crossbody bag) for your portfolio of everyday needs.

Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Suave Kenya
Image: courtesy of Ethical Fashion Initiative and Suave Kenya
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