Fangirling at Africa Fashion Week 2017

This Concierge has been having a ball this week as two major fashion events rolled into her town; Africa Sourcing and Fashion Week and Hub Africa. Events, pop-ups, exhibits and runway shows, there’s been plenty to keep an Addis-based Nomad busy. The fashion scene in East Africa is incredibly exciting; there are tonnes of passionate, creative and sickeningly talented people with a great vision for serving the men and women of the region. I did not keep my chill. Here are some of the exciting designers I discovered this week:

With Ethiopian designer Fikirte Addis at the helm, Yefikir takes elements of traditional textiles and design to create international fashion and professional wear. Fikirte is passionate about the incredible quality and beauty of fabrics available in Ethiopia and works together with other designers on building the social consciousness of the industry in Ethiopia; initiatives like a child labour free commitment and certification.Vivo Activewear, a rising Kenyan brand for the modern professional African woman, was co-founded by Wandia Gichuru. She believes that women in East Africa are under-served by the fashion industry and is on a mission to change the way that Africa sees herself through fashion. With 11 shops and counting, Vivo provides ready to wear and accessible fashion options, even available online.

Naked Ape Style, the vividly name brand from South Africa’s Shaldon Kopman, began as a bespoke brand, and is working towards sustainability as a business and promoting craftspeople from the continent, utilising only African makers. Having dressed the likes of Samuel L Jackson an Barack Obama, this menswear label is high fashion and eminently dapper.Ye Tseday Design is an Ethiopian brand that uses bespoke handwoven materials, hand-crafted in Ethiopia. The collection on display as part of ASFW combined high-quality and glamorous material with flowing and flattering silhouettes, with subtle nods to Ethiopian culture, such as a halterneck using a mix of material and traditional jewellry.

Of course, some of these designers are high fashion and shopping with them is more studio-based than online shopping cart, but here are some ready-to-wear items from Vivo Activewear and my stalwart favourites, Zaaf and Sole Rebels.
Africa Fashion Week 2017


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